‘No cricketer has yet become great player, great statesman’


Imran Khan is not the only national cricket captain to have set his sights on a high political office in the sub-continent, the Economist said in a report on Monday.
“Mohammad Azharuddin was elected to India’s parliament in 2009. In Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga is deputy minister for tourism. But perhaps the most controversial has been another Sri Lankan, Sanath Jayasuriya,” the Economist said.
The report said Jayasuriya became a member of parliament in 2010. “Within a year, he had been re-selected to play for his country against England, despite being 41 years old and not having played for some while. The Sri Lankan government has an unhealthy tendency to interfere in team affairs, and it was reported that it had ordered Jayasuriya’s inclusion. It also led to the delicate situation that a player representing his country was also a member of a government accused of war crimes,” the report added. The report said that until the time Khan became the prime minister of Pakistan, there remained to be seen a cricketer who had deserved the dual accolade of “great player and great statesman”.