Lasith Malinga has informed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) of his intention to play for the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 instead of the Southern Express team.
Fast bowler Malinga captained the Southern Express team to victory in Sri Lanka's domestic Twenty20 tournament, the Super Fours, which qualified them for the Champions League, which will be held in September and October in India.
Both the Southern Express and the Mumbai Indians will enter the initial qualifying stage of the tournament and will play against each other on 14th September.
The other teams battling for the two available spots in the main competition are New Zealand's Northern Districts and Pakistan's Lahore Lions.
Malinga has been part of the Mumbai Indians Indian Premier League squad since 2009, winning both the IPL in 2013 and the Champions League in 2011 with them.
"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform that Lasith Malinga had sent a letter on the 15th of July 2014, wherein he had requested to represent the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League T20 – 2014," a staement from SLC confirmed.
"As per the Team Participation Agreement of CLT20 – 2014, the decision on which team a player should represent is the sole prerogative of the player himself.
"Accordingly whilst expressing Sri Lanka Cricket’s preference for Lasith to represent the Southern Express Team at the said event, the Executive Committee left this decision at his sole discretion.
"Lasith Malinga has informed the CEO Mr. Ashley De Silva that he will be representing the Mumbai Indians Team."
Under Champions League rules, if a player decides to play for a team based outside of his home country, the team he plays for must pay the home team compensation - this was set at $US150,000 in 2012.
Malinga has taken 264 wickets in Twenty20 cricket and also captained Sri Lanka to victory in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh earlier this year.
© Cricket World 2014