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Sanath makes his debut as lawmaker
Sri Lankan all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya on Friday made his debut as a parliamentarian.
Having made waves on the cricket field, Jayasuriya made his debut as a lawmaker, romping home with a runaway victory from a parliamentary constituency in Matara district in the south.
Jayasuriya was declared winner in absentia, garnering 74,352 votes as the results for the countrywide parliamentary election trickled in.
The cricketer won on the ticket of the ruling United People's Freedom Party alliance of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was not present at the counting as he is playing for the Mumbai Eleven in the ongoing IPL.
In a special gesture, Jayasuriya was given permission to cast his vote a day earlier as he had to proceed to join his Mumbai teammates in India.
The 40-year-old star batsman is a political novice and has made it in his first attempt at the hustings. But the fate of his teammate and former captain Arjun Ranatunga still hung in balance.
Ranatunga was reported to be locked in a close contest in his parliamentary seat. The former Lankan captain is in the fray on the ticket of the opposition Democratic National Alliance led by detained former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
With counting still in progress, it was unclear whether Ranatunga would join Jayasuriya in parliament.
Though Jayasuriya retired from Test cricket in 2007, he has been included in the Sri Lankan team for the World Twenty20 tournament, which gets underway in West Indies from April 30.
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