Russel Arnold, the former Sri Lanka batsman, and commentator, has been appointed tournament director for the Lankan Premier League, to be played in August and September. Having officially signed on several days ago, Arnold’s work begins in earnest in May.
“We consider bringing in a person in the caliber of Russel as the Tournament Director of the LPL 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,” said Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president.
Although planning remains in the early stages, Sri Lanka Cricket is also attempting to lure second-string India players to the tournament, with Sumathipala having repeatedly stated that he plans to appeal to the BCCI about the issue. The presence of Indian players – even those of lesser renown – would be a substantial boon, particularly as LPL match times will be ideally suited for Indian viewers. The BCCI has never allowed its players to participate in foreign leagues, although SLC hopes to change that given the recent co-operation between both boards.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva also said that the board would insist that all its players take part in the LPL instead of the Caribbean Premier League, which is set to take place at the same time.
SLC has not had a high profile T20 tournament since the SLPL, which had a lukewarm reception on the island in 2012, and was never played again. The LPL is scheduled to run from August 18 to September 10.