Lasith Malinga on Thursday said he was ‘very happy’ to make way for the youngsters in the national side after hanging his boots from one-day internationals.
Malinga will represent his side for the final time in ODIs when Sri Lanka and Bangladesh go head-to-head in the first ODI in a three-match series.
"I am very happy to leave at this time. This is an opportunity for new players to prove themselves and prepare for the next World Cup," said Malinga while addressing the media ahead of the first ODI.
He will continue to play the shortest format where he is still a precious commodity and is actively sought out by franchise owners.
He was phenomenal in the final of IPL 2019 where he delivered the final nail in the coffin for his side Mumbai Indians and executed a well-disguised slower ball that powered Mumbai to their fourth IPL title.
Sri Lanka struggled to make a mark in the World Cup with only three wins from nine games, albeit two games ended in no result.
Regarding Sri Lanka's World Cup performances, he said, "We may have had some setbacks, but we have the capability to win another World Cup.”
Malinga urged Sri Lankan cricket board officials to persist with the younger players in order to prepare them for the next World Cup assignment.
Being a senior statesman, he recommended the enthusiastic young players to have conviction in themselves.
"The young players need to believe that they can deliver. They need to be dedicated and develop to a level that they can decide for themselves when they go to the middle.”
Malinga had earlier posted a video message on Facebook, where he stated he has no hard feeling towards players and officials who may have tried to push him out of the ODI team.
He felt bittersweet while recalling the time when he was ignored by selectors two years ago but his perseverance helped him prove his worth against England at the World Cup, taking 4 for 43 in a winning cause.
He ended up as the highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the World Cup with 13 wickets.
Malinga is leaving on a high note as Sri Lanka's third-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket with 335 wickets in 219 innings.
He sits behind Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) who are topping the charts in the wickets column for Sri Lanka.