Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara was on Sunday appointed as the director of cricket by Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season. Sangakkara, the current President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), will be responsible for overseeing the entire cricketing ecosystem of the franchise including coaching structure, auction plans and team strategy, talent discovery and development, as well as the development of the Royals Academy in Nagpur.

“It’s a privilege to be joining the Rajasthan Royals and I am excited about the new challenge. 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,” Sangakarra was quoted as saying in a media release.

“I have really enjoyed speaking to the leadership group over the recent weeks and can’t wait to get going. The team includes some of the world’s best players and great personalities so it’s going to be fun and very exciting to work with this group,” he added.

One of the greats of the modern game, Sangakarra scored over 28,000 runs for Sri Lanka over a hugely successful 16-year career and has the highest Test batting average of any player in the last 46 years.

Sanju Samson, who replaces Australian Steve Smith as captain of the franchise in the upcoming season, was delighted to have the veteran keeper on board.

“It’s great to have an all-time wicketkeeping great with us, he is someone who’s donned many hats, he was a fantastic keeper-batsman. He’s someone who’s shown great character both on and off the field and the values that one associate with him are the same which we embody here at Rajasthan Royals,” Samson said.

The southpaw first graced the IPL in its inaugural season back in 2008, and started with a stylish fifty on debut against MS Dhoni’s CSK. That first season saw him amass 320 runs in 10 games, guiding Kings XI Punjab to a top-four finish.

The following seasons saw Sangakkara maintain the consistency that people came to expect of him, scoring consistently over 300 runs in his first four seasons.

In his final IPL season, back in 2013, Sangakkara turned up as a leader for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, leading the team both on and off the pitch, helping them secure a playoff spot in an extraordinary manner.