Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been named director of cricket of the Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2021. According to a statement from the franchise on Sunday, the 43-year-old “will be responsible for overseeing the entire cricketing ecosystem of the Royals franchise, including coaching structure, auction plans, and team strategy, talent discovery and development, as well as the development of the Royals Academy in Nagpur.”
Kumar Sangakkara has had a storied cricket career, debuting for Sri Lanka in July 2000 and going on to become one of their best ever batsmen. He remains their highest run-getter in Test cricket with a tally of 12,400 and was also among their most successful captains. In T20I cricket, he was Player of the Match in Sri Lanka’s title-sealing win in the 2014 World T20. After the last of his international cricket in 2015, he has stayed in touch with the game as a commentator and as head of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Sangakkara has had IPL experience as well, having played the tournament for six years – for the Kings XI Punjab, the Deccan Chargers, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, whom he captained – as well as going around the T20-leagues block with stints in Australia’s Big Bash, the Caribbean Premier League, the Pakistan Super League, the Bangladesh Premier League, and England’s T20 Blast.
“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,” Sangakkara said. “I have really enjoyed speaking to the leadership group over the recent weeks and can’t wait to get going.”