Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has joined Rajasthan Royals as their fast-bowling coach for the 2022 Indian Premier League, which begins on March 26.

The Rajasthan Royals also announced on Friday that Paddy Upton has joined the team as a ‘Team Catalyst.’

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Malinga, who claimed 546 wickets in 340 appearances across three forms for Sri Lanka and guided the team to the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup title, will work with the Royals’ outstanding bunch of pacers.

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“It’s a fantastic feeling for me to return to the IPL and an amazing honour to join Rajasthan Royals,” Malinga said. The 39-year-old had previously represented five-time winners Mumbai Indians in the IPL, collecting 170 wickets in 122 matches.

“I am delighted about the pace bowling unit we have heading into the event and look forward to assisting all of the fast bowlers with the execution of their game plans and overall growth.”

South African Paddy Upton, who served as the franchise’s head coach from 2013 to 2015 and again in 2019, led the side to top-four finishes in 2013 and 2015, as well as a spot in the Champions League in 2013, has also returned to the Royals in a new capacity.

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As ‘Team Catalyst,’ Upton will play an important part in developing team integration by bringing them together as a cohesive and mutually supportive unit, as well as looking after their emotional well-being.

“Upton himself will be part of the bubble for the first four weeks of the competition while supporting practically beyond this period,” according to the statement.

Like the previous season, Sri Lankan batting icon Kumar Sangakkara will serve as head coach throughout the 2022 season while also serving as the Royals’ ‘Director of Cricket’ outside of the season.

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“Lasith is probably one of the best T20 fast bowlers of all time, and having a personality like his around the training field, as well as the skills he brings to the table, is certainly something we feel the squad can benefit from,” Sangakkara said.

Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Zubin Bharucha (Strategy, Development, and Performance Director), and Dishant Yagnik (Fielding Coach), among others, will remain in their positions.