Sri Lanka’s batting legend Kumar Sangakkara Monday said he had no intention of making a foray into politics after local media reported he was eyeing next year’s presidential elections.
Sangakkara’s comments came amid a media frenzy comparing him to Imran Khan, the cricketing great who is set to be sworn in as Pakistan’s 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,” Sangakkara, 40, said in a statement.
“I never have, and, with enormous certainty, I can say I never will.”
Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition as well as the main opposition are yet to name their candidates for next year’s presidential election.
Several cricket legends in the country have successfully switched to politics.
Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga is a minister in the current government, while former skipper Sanath Jayasuriya served as a deputy minister after he retired from the international game.
Sangakkara quit Test cricket in August 2015 after aggregating 12,400 runs from 134 matches with 11 double centuries.
The former skipper, considered one of the all-time greats, steered his side to the final of the 2011 World Cup before losing to India.