Cricketers break off political independence
Dec 30, 2009

Cricketers Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralidaran have broken their political independence by deciding to exhort their followers to vote for a particular candidate at the forthcoming Presidential election, analysts told the Daily Mirror yesterday.

One analyst said that the country’s hero-worshipped cricketers can no longer be cast as role models or icons.

“They (Sri Lanka cricketers) made up the only group in this country that maintained a distinct identity from the rest by staying away from political connections. Sad to say it is no more and I wish them all the best in their new identities. You cannot be a player and at the same time tell your followers to vote for someone in particular when there are several (Presidential) candidates in the running”, said a retired player who was a member of the crack team that lifted the World Cup in 1996

He requested anonymity for obvious reasons and expressed fears that the rest of the team could be roped in.

Asked whether Sri Lanka Cricket had given cricketers permission to indulge in political activity, an official in the government-appointed Interim Committee running cricket was non-committal. “We have not given them any permission, but it is their wish”, he said and requested anonymity.

Jayasuriya and Muralidaran appear in advertisements in the electronic media exhorting voters to cast in favour of a particular candidate whose credentials are promoted by the advertiser.

Courtesy: Daily Mirror