Arnold hopes the tournament will help local players adapt to the global demands of the T20 game © Getty
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has appointed former cricketer Russel Arnold as the Director of Lankan Premier League (LPL) tournament that will get underway in August this year. SLC has been laying the groundwork for the tournament since November last year.
The 44-year-old Arnold, who lives in Sydney since his international retirement in 2007, has a tough task at his hand after Sri Lanka's initial franchise-based tournament - Sri Lanka Premier League - failed to flourish and was cancelled after 2012.
Given the success of various T20 leagues such as IPL, CPL, BPL and PSL, the Sri Lankan board has been mooting the idea of a franchise based tournament of its own.
SLC has allocated a window from the third week of August up to the second week of September for the next five years to play the LPL tournament. Arnold's appointment will be for the inaugural edition and could be extended beyond.
"We considered bringing in a person in the calibre of Russel as the Tournament Director of the LPL as it will help the process of making it a successful tournament, especially considering his experience as a player and also his knowledge in promoting the game,'' Thilanga Sumathipala, SLC President said in a media release.
SLC is negotiating with Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) in a bid to getting the participation of Indian players for the event as their presence is sure to improve the tournament's marketing value. The initial plan was to make it a five-team competition, but it could be increased to six teams.
"I am honoured to join in as the Director of the Lankan Premier League, which I believe will help create a highly competitive T20 League in Sri Lanka, thus helping the local players to adapt to the global demands of the shortest version of the game," Arnold said in a statement.