The intraerythrocytic asexual cycle of the malarial parasite is complex and atypical: during schizogony the parasite undergoes multiple rounds of DNA replication and asynchronous nuclear division without cytokinesis. This cell cycle deviates from the classical eukaryotic cell cycle model where, 'DNA replicates only once per cell cycle'. A clear understanding of the molecular switches that control this unusual developmental cycle would be of great interest, both in terms of fundamental Plasmodium biology and in terms of novel potential drug target identification. In recent years considerable effort has been made to identify the malarial orthologues of the cyclin-dependent kinases, which are key regulators of the orderly progression of the eukaryotic cell cycle. This review focuses on the current state-of-knowledge of Plasmodium falciparum cyclin-dependent kinase-like kinases and their regulators.