London [UK]: Former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday took charge as the President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Sangakkara is the first non-British President of MCC and he will hold the post for one year. "I am thrilled to hold the prestigious position of MCC President and I look forward to working hard with the MCC to build on this incredible year of cricket," Sangakkara said in an official statement.
"We have an opportunity to convert more supporters to the game we love and educate them about the fantastic work MCC does locally, nationally and globally for cricket and those communities," he added. Sangakkara's tenure as MCC President will include two England Test matches against West Indies and Pakistan, and ODI against Australia and the launch of The Hundred competition. His nomination was announced by the outgoing President, Anthony Wreford, at the MCC Annual General Meeting at Lord's in May this year.
Sangakkara has been associated with the MCC for a long time. He played against the club in 2002 and in the match, he opened the batting for the touring Sri Lankan side. He also played for the MCC against an International XI at Lord's in the 2005 Tsunami Relief Match.
"We are delighted that Kumar is taking up his position today and it is with great thanks to Anthony Wreford for choosing our first international President. Anthony has been a superb President over an exceptionally busy period and in partnership with his wife Marian Wreford, they have made a fantastic contribution to the Club over a pivotal year," Guy Lavender, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary said.
"I have no doubt that Kumar will be an outstanding successor and will help shape our Club and vision moving forward," he added. The proceeds from that match were used by the Foundation of Goodness to set up the MCC Centre of Excellence at Seenigama in Sri Lanka. In 2012, he was awarded honorary life membership of the club. In the same year, he also joined MCC's world cricket committee and remains an active member till date.
Sangakkara appears twice on the Honours Boards at Lord's, with both innings coming in 2014. He hit 147 in the Test Match against England, and 112 in Sri Lanka's ODI victory over the same opposition.