May 29 2012 By Jon Batham
MIDDLESEX’S carefully laid T20 plans were thrown into chaos this week when Lasith Malinga pulled out of their squad for this season’s competition.
The Lord’s tenants made no secret of the fact they were looking for a world class death bowler to help them in this year’s slog-a-thon and it seemed painstaking negotiations had led to a major coup when just a few short weeks ago the county announced they had secured the services of ‘Slinger’ who starred for Mumbai Indians in this season’s IPL.
However, with the ink on the contract barely dry it now seems the Sri Lankan quick has asked to be released from his Panthers deal because of knee and back problems picked up in the tournament on the sub-continent.
The timing of the news could hardly be worse for Fraser and co as with just over two weeks to go before their competition opener against Surrey at Lord’s there’s more hard negotiating to do for a last-gasp replacement.
"Naturally, we are extremely disappointed that Lasith will not be playing for Middlesex CCC in this summer's Friends Life t20,” said a frustrated Fraser.
“Everyone at the club was looking forward to working with and watching Lasith play for The Panthers.
“His presence would have added a healthy dose of star dust to proceedings.
"A lot of work goes in to securing these deals and getting 'No Objection Certificates' from the relevant governing bodies.
“But we are not the only county to suffer in this way and over the coming days we will do all we can to secure the services of another high quality international cricketer for our 2012 Friends Life t20 campaign."
Middlesex were domestic T20 champions in 2008, but finished bottom of the South group in last season’s competition.