Sri Lanka news July 31, 2012

SLC appoint Lorgat as special advisor

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has appointed Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC chief executive, as a special advisor to help the board revamp its domestic cricket structure and improve the administration of cricket in the country. Lorgat will work with SLC until October 31, 2012.

"Mr Lorgat has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we are delighted that he has agreed to work with us to improve the governance and administration of our cricket," Upali Dharmadasa, the SLC president, said in a statement. "As a board we are determined to tackle the challenges we face and to exploit the opportunities for the betterment of SLC. Mr Lorgat is a seasoned administrator and I am excited that with his expertise we can work towards building a strong and sustainable future for SLC."

Lorgat served as ICC chief executive for four years before stepping down at the end of June. He has also held several posts in South African cricket, including that of chairman of selectors, and was on the finance and organising committees for the 2003 World Cup.

SLC have been through a turbulent last 15 months. They ran up debts of close to $70 million to finance the building of two international stadiums in Hambantota and Pallekele, and to renovate the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, for the 2011 World Cup. It was also forced to hold its first elections in seven years in January, 2012, to comply with ICC regulations.

The team struggled on the field as well, after Kumar Sangakkara gave up the captaincy following the 2011 World Cup. Sri Lanka lost Test and ODI series against England, Australia and Pakistan, and had gone nearly 18 months without winning a Test until they beat South Africa in Durban in December, 2011.

Their form has improved since Mahela Jayawardene replaced Tillakaratne Dilshan as captain after the South Africa series, but the new board feels the domestic structure in Sri Lanka needs to be strengthened in order to keep the country competitive at international level. SLC's domestic game centres on the club system, with the best clubs traditionally located in Colombo. The board is currently planning on cutting the two-tiered club tournament down to one, and reducing the number of teams from 20 to 14.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo