Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jayasuriya to take on Ranatunga in politics

His cricket career on the wane, former captain Sanath Jayasuriya has taken the political plunge and will have a face-off against ex-teammate Arjuna Ranatunga during election campaigns for their respective alliances for the April 8 Sri Lankan Parliamentary polls.

Jayasuriya is expected to contest the upcoming general elections under the ruling coalition United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) ticket from the Southern Coastal Matara district.

Jayasuriya, however, ruled out giving up cricket just yet.

“I will not give up cricket though I am coming into politics. I was pushed to this decision after an exhaustive study,” the opener said.

“I have nothing to earn from the politics. But I can work for the people who loved me a lot. It is the bounden duty to serve the people, in return, for what they did for me to come to this position,” he added.

“When the UPFA invited me to contest for general elections I accepted it since this is a golden opportunity to work people wholeheartedly,” Jayasuriya told Daily News.

The 40-year-old cricketer said he got the all-clear to contest elections from the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.

Ranatunga, who left the UPFA and sided with the defeated opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, had recently said that Jayasuriya and other active cricket players should not join politics.

While one of Arjuna Ranatunga’s brother, Prasanna is the Chief Minister of the UPFA-led Western Provincial Council, his another sibling Nishantha Ranatunga is the secretary of the Interim Committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

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