New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Mumbai Indians fast bowler Lasith Malinga, the highest wicket-taker in the IPL, has opted out of the 13th edition of IPL tournament citing personal reasons. He wil be replaced by Australian fast bowler James Pattinson. He will join the MI squad this weekend. "Lasith Malinga has requested unavailability for the season for personal reasons and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka," the statement from the franchise read.

According to reports, Malinga's father has been ill and may require surgery in the coming weeks. Since Malinga wanted to be with his father at home in Sri Lanka, he opted against travelling with the Mumbai squad to Abu Dhabi last month.

Malinga last featured for Sri Lanka in a T20 International during the home series against West Indies in March this year, with his last ODI appearance coming more than a year ago.

Owner Akash Ambani welcomed Pattinson on board and extended his support to Malinga.

"James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season in UAE."

"Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI''s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith''s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith''s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time."

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha