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No takers yet in Sri Lanka among sportsmen to follow Khan to the top

By Easwaran Rutnam

Despite all the hype in Pakistan surrounding Imran Khan, a former sports star, being elected and appointed President of the country, former sports personalities in Sri Lanka have not yet shown interest in following Khan and contesting for the top post in the country.

Khan took oaths today, Saturday, as the new President of Pakistan and promised to fight corruption, a promise Sri Lanka has also heard from its own politicians, particularly since 2015.

There was strong speculation that former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara, like Khan, may enter politics and contest for the post of President. However Sangakkara recently made it clear he will not enter politics.

Sangakkara, in Sri Lanka, has the kind of popularity and backing that Khan has in Pakistan.

The former Sri Lankan cricketer has been admired for his character, attitude both on and off the field and ability to lead a team.

Many believed that his leadership capabilities may just be what Sri Lanka needs and may also be the real change the country desires as so far no politician has met the real expectations of the public.

Sangakkara said recently that while he has no political ambitions, he does hope that Sri Lankans will have the patience and foresight to not only vote the best-suited and most-qualified persons into public office, but also thereafter retain patience as positive social and economic change will not be achieved overnight.

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who won the only cricket world cup for Sri Lanka, while is very active in politics, has so far not been seen as a likely candidate nor has he indicated any intention of contesting for the post of President.

Ranatunga, who is the Minister for Petroleum Resources Development, however said recently he was proud that his close friend Imran Khan was going to be the new Prime Minister of Pakistan.

He hoped that under the leadership of Imran Khan, Pakistan will flourish further and the relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will take a new height.