Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Sanath Jayasuriya, former captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team, will soon commence a new innings. He has decided to enter politics and will contest for the parliament seat from Matara, his home town.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has accepted Jayasuriya's request to stand for elections. Though Jayasuriya has announced his retirement from Test cricket, he still plays one-day internationals.

Jayasuriya's decision to enter the electoral fray in April follows a request from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The 40-year-old Jayasuriya has scored 6,974 runs in Test cricket and has piled up 13, 428 runs in the one-day version of the game.

"Matara needs a lot of help and we need to look after the people every way," said Jayasuriya of his village.

"I have retired from Test cricket and will have time for the people of Matara," added Jayasuriya, who holds the record for having played in 444 one-day internationals, the maximum by any cricketer. Sachin Tendulkar, with 442 matches under his belt, is second.

Jayasuriya also announced that he has no plans to retire from cricket till the 2011 World Cup. Sri Lankan cricket board chief Somachandra de Silva has agreed to Jayasuriya's request to be allowed to contest for parliament as the player's contract does not oblige him to keep away from politics.