Sri Lanka cricket stars Jayasuriya, Ranatunga enter parliament

April 9, 2010 (AFP) – Veteran cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya and Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga have won seats in parliament, a local official said Friday.

Ranatunga represented the opposition Democratic National Alliance and secured 27,792 votes to enter parliament. He joined politics after retiring from cricket. Jayasuriya contested Thursday’s polls for President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and left the island a day before voting to play at an Indian tournament.

The 40-year-old batsman and political novice was given special permission to cast his ballot on Wednesday, a day ahead of the nationwide election.

Jayasuriya garnered 74,352 votes to win his seat in the southern district of Matara, an official with the local election commission told AFP.
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Jayasuriya retired from Test matches in 2007 to prolong his career in the shorter forms of the game. He has been included in Sri Lanka’s squad for the World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean from April 30-May 16.

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