Rajasthan Royals have enlisted Lasith Malinga as speed bowling coach ahead of IPL 2022 and Paddy Upton as ‘Team Catalyst’
Malinga, who retired as a player in 2021, is the IPL’s highest ever wickettaker with 170 scalps in nine seasons for the Mumbai Indians. In 2018 he was also a mentor for Mumbai Bowling and earlier this year he was appointed Sri Lankan bowling strategic coach for Australia’s T20I series. At the Royals, Malinga will work alongside his former captain Kumar Sangakkara, who is the franchise’s head coach and director of cricket, and Steffan Jones, who was appointed high performance speed bowling coach last week.
“It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honor to join the Rajasthan Royals, a franchise that has always promoted and developed young talent,” Malinga said. Tournament and look forward to supporting all speed bowlers in executing their game plans and overall development. I made very special memories in the IPL with the Indians of Mumbai and now with royalty, looking forward to new experiences and making great memories on this trip. Upton returns to the Royals after being manager from 2013 to 2015 and then in 2019, leading them to a top four finish in 2013 and 2015. He will be with the team for the first four weeks of the season, after he will virtually support them.
“As Team Catalyst, Upton will play a crucial role in establishing team integration, bringing them together as a cohesive and supportive unit, and caring for their mental well-being through the use of various mental conditioning processes and activities that help maintain a healthy culture and environment, particularly within the confines of being in an organic bubble,” a statement from the Royals said. Sangakkara said Malinga and Upton would be great additions to the coaching staff. “Lasith is arguably one of the greatest T20 fast bowlers of all time, and to have a personality like him on the practice court, and the experience she brings to the table, is certainly something to we think the team can take advantage of it,” he said, noted. “We have some of the best fast bowlers on our team and we are delighted that they have the opportunity to work with Lasith and learn and develop further.
“It’s the same with Paddy, who has been a great servant to the Royals and has done an exceptional job of building cohesion between the players and conditioning them mentally. We think he will be a great addition to our squad. Coaches Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Zubin Bharucha (Director of Strategy, Development and Performance) and Dishant Yagnik (fielding coach) will continue in their respective roles.