Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara on Sunday insisted he will never enter politics.
Sangakkara said in a statement that he believes that politics and public service is a very serious responsibility.
There have been reports that Sangakkara may contest as a common candidate at the 2020 Presidential elections in Sri Lanka.
“I have read with a sense of concern reports of my imminent entry into politics in Sri Lanka as a possible candidate for the presidential election in 2020. I was also made aware of varying opinions and speculations on this from both members of the public and media. I have, by what I hear and read, been touted as a suitable candidate by some while that others have questioned my credibility and character. While respectfully appreciating the varying diverse opinions made public, 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. I never have, and, with enormous certainty, I can say I never will,” he said.
The former cricketer says public duty should always be served with accountability and integrity holding sacrosanct the public trust.
“I have the greatest respect for those public servants, whether elected or appointed, who are motivated by good and honourable intentions and are therefore steadfastly committed to the betterment of our country,” he said.
Sangakkara also said that while he has no political ambitions, he does hope that Sri Lankans will have the patience and foresight to not only vote the best-suited and most-qualified persons into public office, but also thereafter retain patience as positive social and economic change will not be achieved overnight.
“I also hope that we have the strength to continuously agitate and demand integrity, accountability, transparency and respect from our elected politicians, ensuring they fully appreciate and understand they that are entrusted with our will to be exercised with responsibility in a manner that benefits all in our society equally,” he said.
Post cricket, Sangakkara says his plan is, first and foremost, to focus on his family after many years of sacrifice on their part while he was away playing cricket around the world.
“I am also looking forward to the challenge of developing a second post-playing career in an exciting new phase of my life. Finally, I wish to continue to work with existing charitable partners and friends striving to help various disadvantaged sections of our community. I am forever inspired by the selfless and passionate leaders and volunteers driving these charitable organisations forward and I will try my hardest to support their wonderful efforts in meaningful and useful ways,” he said.