February 17, 2010

Sri Lankan cricket

Ol' friends, poll foes

Akhila Ranganna

© AFP

They may have formed a mighty coalition on the cricket field, architects of their country’s greatest cricket moments. But former Sri Lankan captains Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga are now cast against each other in the political arena. Jayasuriya has announced his intentions to enter politics and is expected to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections as a candidate of the ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) while Ranatunga, formerly with the UPFA, has backed the defeated opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. And for good measure the pupil has thumbed his nose at the master in another way: “I will not give up cricket though I am coming into politics,” Jayasuriya recently said, ending the debate on Ranatunga’s comment that active cricket players should not join politics.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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