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Ex-Sri Lanka cricket star Tilakratne Dilshan starts new innings, joins politics

Ex-Sri Lanka cricket star Tilakratne Dilshan starts new innings, joins politics

Colombo, Nov 15: Former Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan on Wednesday (November 15) joined the party of Mahinda Rajapaksa, on a day when the premier's controversial government lost a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

Dilshan, 42, became a member of Rajapaksa's newly-formed Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP). The former Sri Lankan captain has obtained the SLPP membership, party secretary Sagara Kariyawasam announced.

In a career spanning 14 years, the all-rounder has played 87 Tests and amassed 5492 runs at an average of 41. The right-handed batsman represented his country in 330 ODI, he's scored 10290 runs and picked up 106 wickets. He has also played 80 T20Is and scored 1889 runs in the shortest format of the game.

Dilshan is to run for a seat in Parliament from the southwestern Kalutara district, SLPP sources said. Rajapaksa was named by President Maithripala Sirisena as prime minister in October following the shock sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as premier.

After weeks of political turmoil in which Wickremesinghe refused to quit, Rajapaksa lost the trust vote earlier on Wednesday. A parliamentary election scheduled for January is now in doubt due to the supreme court's temporary order which overturned Sirisena's dissolution of the current parliament.

Rajapaksa himself joined the SLPP two days ago, leaving Sirisena's SLFP party. Sri Lanka's World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga was also a Cabinet minister in Wickremesinghe's government.

(With inputs from PTI)

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    Story first published: Thursday, November 15, 2018, 13:21 [IST]
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