Sri Lanka‘s batting great Kumar Sangakkara clarified he has no intention of entering politics after local media reported he was eyeing next year’s Presidential elections.
Sangakkara’s made the statement after media compared him to former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan who is set to take oath as his country’s next Prime Minister on Saturday.
“I would like to put to rest speculation and rumour once and for all, confirming that I do not harbour any ambitions for political office,” the 40-year-old Sangakkara said in a statement.
“I never have, and, with enormous certainty, I can say I never will.”
Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition and the main opposition are yet to name their candidates for next year’s election.
Many cricket legends in the country have moved into politics. World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga is a minister in the current government, while former captain Sanath Jayasuriya became a deputy minister after he retired from the game.
Every technical expert has a secret up his or her sleeve when it comes to getting the job done. Mechanics, engineers, plumbers etc all know certain tricks that help them to solve most issues you and I can encounter.
Cricket groundsmen are not that different either. They know a thing or two about how to maintain the square, outfield and pitch. Whenever there is excess rain or heat, experienced caretakers know what to do to get the ground ready to host a match. Using charcoal on plates to dry wet pitches, boundary ropes to soak up dew are all part of their arsenal.
But the groundsmen at the R Premamadasa Stadium in Colombo might have come up with the most bizzare, and frankly unsettling, tactic.
Crows are a menace in the Sri Lankan capital and they are known to harass passers-by. So in order to keep the pesky birds away, the groundsmen in Colombo reportedly placed a dead crow next to the playing area to ensure the surrounding remains clear before the fifth and final ODI against South Africa. We must say, it’s the one of the most disturbing things we have seen on a cricket field.
Angelo Mathews hit 97, accompanied by by Niroshan Dickwella’s 43, and Akila Dananjaya took six wickets as the hosts made 299 for eight off their 50 overs.
It left South Africa facing the biggest run chase ever required by a visiting team to the Colombo ground. They could not manage it and were all out for 121 in less than 25 overs.
Captain Quinton de Kock made a half century (54) but other wickets fell regularly as Dananjaya (six for 29) had the visitors in all sorts of trouble with his spin bowling.
Despite the heavy defeat, South Africa won the five-match series 3-2.
“Akila knows what he’s doing with the ball. It’s hard to take on someone like this when he has so many variations up his sleeve,” said South African skipper Quinton de Kock.
“We have batted well against him in this series, but today he bowled really well.”
Sri Lanka skipper Mathews said the team should have come up with such a performance earlier in the series.
“This was a performance we were looking for but it came in the last match. If we had been like that in the first three games things could have been a lot different,” said Mathews.