The former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has been appointed as the first non-British president of Marylebone Cricket Club.
Sangakkara will begin his one-year tenure in October, having been nominated by the incumbent, Anthony Wreford.
The 41-year-old, who retired from playing in 2017 and is already an honorary life member of MCC and has sat on its influential world cricket committee for the past seven years, said: “It is a huge honour to be named the next president of MCC and it is a role that I am thoroughly looking forward to.
“For me, MCC is the greatest cricket club in the world, with its global reach and continued progress for cricket on and off the pitch.”
MCC, which owns Lord’s and acts as the guardian of the laws of the game, was founded in 1787 and lists 168 presidents in its history. That number includes one member of the royal family, 13 knights and six baronets but, until now, no one from overseas.
Wreford said: “As MCC looks to broaden both our horizons and international reputation, I’m delighted that Kumar has accepted the invitation, which he did in January this year, to be the next president of MCC.
“He is an outstanding individual both on and off the field and will make a huge contribution to the club. In a World Cup and Ashes year he will also have a significant role to play as president designate.”