Rajasthan Royals on Friday also announced that Paddy Upton has joined the squad as a ‘Team Catalyst’.
Malinga, who took 546 wickets in 340 matches across three formats for Sri Lanka and also led the country to the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup trophy, will be working with the talented group of pacers in the Royals’ set-up.
“It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honour to join Rajasthan Royals,” the 38-year-old Malinga, who had represented five-time champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL, grabbing 170 wickets in 122 matches, said in a release.
*𝐤𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥*Lasith Malinga. IPL. Pink. 💗#RoyalsFamily | #TATAIPL2022 | @ninety9sl https://t.co/p6lS3PtlI3
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1646987400000
“I am excited by the pace bowling unit we have going into the tournament and looking forward to supporting all the fast bowlers with the execution of their game-plans and their overall development.”
South African Paddy Upton, who had worked as the head coach of the franchise from 2013-15 and then in 2019, having led the team to top-four finishes in 2013 and 2015, along with a place in the Champions League in 2013, also returned to the Royals in a new role.
Being the ‘Team Catalyst’, Upton will play a crucial role in establishing team integration by bringing them together as a cohesive and mutually supporting unit, and look after their mental well-being.
“Upton himself will be part of the bubble for the initial four weeks of the tournament, while supporting virtually post the completion of this period,” the release said.
Like last season, Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara will be assuming the role of head coach during the upcoming season, while being the ‘Director of Cricket’ at the Royals outside of the season.
“Lasith is arguably one of the greatest T20 fast bowlers of all-time, and to have a personality like his around the training ground, and the expertise he brings to the table, is certainly something we feel the team can benefit from,” said Sangakkara.
Among others, Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Zubin Bharucha (Strategy, Development and Performance Director) and Dishant Yagnik (Fielding Coach) will continue to serve in their respective roles.