Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), President Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala is confident of making the upcoming Lankan Premier League (LPL ) a commercial success within three years of the launch.
“Enormous as the task is we will definitely see that the LPL takes off this year in implementing the IPL concept that has caught on in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa. Sri Lanka had to get moving with it and put the framework in place for it to catch on,” said Sumathipala addressing SLC employees in the annual post-Avurudu speech.
He stressed that the LPL would in the long run nourish the game in raising player and domestic standards as well as commercially for players too. He went on to extoll SLC employees on the financial success reaped by the local citadel of cricket. Importantly this was because his administration acted transparently by recognizing the need to appoint the right man to the right job. The staging of the Nidahas Trophy had been a colossal success both in terms of cricket being the ultimate winner and marketing the game to spectators. Sri Lankans had responded magnanimously irrespective of who won and who lost. Today, fortunes fluctuate. However rich a country it may not be the best team in the world and no team in a rich country has remained No.1 in the world.
“This is the first time Sri Lanka ever involved in roping in high profile commercial stakeholders through the Nidahas Trophy that required enormous ground work. This was meticulously done. A profit of RS. 900 million had been reaped from a total revenue of Rs. 1.3 billion. Just one over in a match had been marketed for US $27, 000,”
A remarkable factor in SLC’s success story was that unlike hitherto he ensured that due recognition was given to the people manning executive positions unlike in the past. “Today, the CEO attends ICC meetings in his capacity that his job demands. Similarly, when I go on official commercial overseas assignments I take the experienced finance men like Nuski Mohamed and Shammi Silva. This has paid dividends in driving profit as well,” the SLC president said while emphasizing that every single employee at SLC had a job to perform in making the sport more viable to the general public at large.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-