New Delhi: Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara was on Sunday appointed as the director of cricket by Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season.
Sangakkara, the current President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), will be responsible for overseeing the entire cricketing ecosystem of the franchise including coaching structure, auction plans and team strategy, talent discovery and development, as well as the development of the Royals Academy in Nagpur.
"To oversee the cricket strategy of a franchise in the leading cricket competition in the world, as well as building the development programs and cricketing infrastructure that will provide the future foundation of the IPL team's on-field success, is an opportunity that really motivated me," Sangakarra was quoted as saying in a media release.
One of the greats of the modern game, Sangakarra scored over 28,000 runs for Sri Lanka over a hugely successful 16-year career and has the highest Test batting average of any player in the last 46 years.
Sanju Samson, who replaces Australian Steve Smith as captain of the franchise in the upcoming season, was delighted to have the veteran keeper on board.
"It's great to have an all-time wicketkeeping great with us, he is someone who's donned many hats, he was a fantastic keeper-batsman. He's someone who's shown great character both on and off the field and the values that one associates with him are the same which we embody here at Rajasthan Royals," Samson said.
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With combined reserves in excess of INR 90 crore, Punjab and Rajasthan were always going to be favourites for the big-money buys of this auction, and they didn’t disappoint on that count.