Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been appointed the Rajasthan Royals' director of cricket ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League.
Sangakkara represented the Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. He also played in Australia's Big Bash League, the Pakistan Super League, England's T20 Blast, Caribbean Premier League and Bangladesh Premier League.
“To oversee the cricket strategy of a franchise in the leading cricket competition in the world, as well as building the development programmes and cricketing infrastructure that will provide the future foundation of the IPL team's on-field success, is an opportunity that really motivated me,” said Sangakkara.
“I have really enjoyed speaking to the leadership group over the recent weeks and can't wait to get going.”
Samson Replaces Smith at Rajasthan
The Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural IPL in 2008. They were captained by Australian Shane Warne at the time. The franchise have not won a title since.
The Royals recently announced batsman Sanju Samson as captain for the IPL 2021. He has succeeded former captain Steven Smith, who has left the franchise.
“It's a team that is so close to my heart, which I've been lucky enough to play for over the years, and I'm excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team,” said Samson.
“The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I'm so grateful for all the time I've spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Smith. I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead.”
Why Royals Appointed Samson
Royals co-owner Manoj Badale explained the decision to have Samson replace Smith, who is involved in Australia's Test, ODI and T20I XIs.
“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important,” added Badale.
“Sanju made his debut as a Royal, and it has been a joy to watch his development over the last eight years. He is the ideal person to lead the Royals into the 2021 season.”
The 14th IPL will be played later this year.