Malinga raring to go again

10 May 2017 10:41:15 EST

Lasith Malinga admits he is excited by a return to one-day internationals following a two-year absence for Sri Lanka.

Malinga, one of the most devastating bowlers to have played ODIs, is just nine wickets shy of becoming the fourth Sri Lankan to 300 wickets.

The only three to have achieved the feat to date are Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas.

The 33-year-old recently returned to national duty in the Twenty20 series against Australia but has not played the longer format of limited-overs cricket for his country since November 2015 following a catalogue of injury problems.

"It is an event I have not missed since 2006. I have really enjoyed every edition of it and look forward to further successes in June.

"We are in a strong group including Asian rivals India and Pakistan, and South Africa.

"But it is a global event and there can't be any easy matches. The opponents can rule us out at their risk but we are a good side, which is capable of beating any side on its day. I am confident that we will make an impact in the tournament."

Malinga took six wickets in Sri Lanka's 2-1 away victory over the Australians and then followed up by claiming five victims in the 1-1 draw with Bangladesh in home conditions last month.

His presence will give the Sri Lankan attack some much-needed venom in a tournament in which they feature as rank outsiders alongside the Bangladeshis.

Sri Lanka are 25/1 to win the Champions Trophy while Australia can be backed at 10/3.

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