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Sri Lanka to have its own franchise-based tournament, Russel Arnold named its Director

Russel Arnold
Sri Lankan batsman Russel Arnold
©REUTERS/Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi AL/CP

Sri Lanka’s domestic T20 league, The Lankan Premier League is scheduled from August 18 to September 10 this year.

It is an open secret that Sri Lankan cricket is not going through the best of times. Ever since the greats of the game like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have called it a day, Sri Lanka have found it very hard to fill in their shoes.

However, the state of affairs has improved over the past three to four months with the Lankans winning the tri-series involving Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and the Test and the T20I series against Bangladesh. Be that as it may, the team played well in the subsequent Nidahas Trophy against India and Bangladesh but failed to make the finals.

At such a time, Sri Lanka cricket have announced former Sri Lankan batsman Russel Arnold as the Director of the Lankan Premier League (LPL). As the newly appointed Director, Arnold seems committed to successfully launch the Lankan league which would help local players to fine tune their skills to that of the international level.

"We need something like this. We are falling behind our skill levels. There's a huge interest for franchise-based competition and that culture is there. It's a good opportunity for players to showcase their talent and get them play under pressure and develop their skill levels," said Arnold.

The 44-year-old would be leaving for Malaysia soon to attend the meeting of the Asian Cricket Council. He would officially begin proceedings as LPL Director from the 1st of May.

The all-rounder further said that, "We need to make the tournament something that everyone looks forward to. Not just the players, but fans, owners and everyone. I am confident that we can make this a success. There's plenty of interest already and that excites me."

Sri Lanka Cricket had launched a similar tournament named Sri Lanka Premier League in 2011. However, it was not successful in generating the anticipated revenue and had to be disbanded after a year.

This is why the Lankan Board does not want to take any chances this time around and has also contacted the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to release some of its players for the tournament as that would help them to attract sponsors and television companies. 

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