From playground to politics: Rathore, Ranatunga & Co.

Imran Khan timeline: From debut to destiny (1:05)

Pakistan's first World-Cup-winning captain is all set become its 19th Prime Minister (1:05)

As World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan looks set to take over as Prime Minister of Pakistan, ESPN looks at some other examples of prominent sportspersons who later entered politics, with varying degrees of success.

George Weah (Liberia)

Often considered among the greatest players to have never played the World Cup, Weah was the World Player of the Year for 1995 while with AC Milan, and enjoyed successful club stints with teams such as Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille.

Weah first ran for president in 2005, forming the Congress for Democratic Change (CDR) in the process. He would eventually win a place in the senate as a CDR candidate in 2014, and in 2017 beat Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party in the presidential election. He would be sworn in on January 22, 2018.

Vitali Klitschko (Ukraine)

Klitschko began his career in amateur kickboxing -- recording a 34-2 win/loss record -- before graduating to boxing in 1995, winning gold at the World Military Games and silver at the World Championships the same year. He clinched the WBO Heavyweight title in 1999, and won 45 of the 47 bouts he had in his professional career -- one of the defeats was a memorable battle against WBC champion Lennox Lewis in 2003.

Known for being politically active even during his playing days, Klitschko was elected mayor of Kiev in 2012, and headed the Ukranian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) party, which then merged with the Petro Poroshenko Bloc in 2015, with him as chairman -- a post that he has subsequently given up.

Rajyavardhan Rathore (India)

Rathore was independent India's first silver medallist in an individual discipline at the Olympic Games, with a silver in the double trap shooting event at the 2004 Athens Games. He also won two World Championship golds and three golds across two editions of the Commonwealth Games, before taking up political life in 2013, doing so after retiring from the Indian Army as a Colonel.

Rathore was elected to the Indian parliament's Lok Sabha in 2014, and has enjoyed stints as minister of information and broadcasting, as well as fittingly holding the portfolio for sports since September 2017.

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines)

Pacquiao retired from boxing with one of the most illustrious CVs of all time -- the only eight-division champion -- including flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight, the four original weight classes of boxing -- and a winner of 11 major world titles. He was also sought by one of the teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 2014, thus becoming the oldest rookie to be drafted into the league.

Pacquaio first dabbled in politics in 2007, and was appointed to the congress in 2010, before being elected to the senate in June 2016. He was appointed chairperson of the senate's Public Works Committee in July.

Marcus Stephen (Nauru)

The Micronesian island nation of Nauru has just 10 gold medals in Commonwealth Games history, and Stephen has accounted for seven of them in weightlifting. Stephen won medals for Nauru in his sport at all the editions of the Games between 1990 and 2002, and even turned out for Samoa at the 1992 Olympic Games, as Nauru did not have an Olympic committee at the time, though he would go on to represent his country of birth at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. He won a World Championship silver for Nauru in 1999, and was named in the sport's Hall of Fame in 2005.

Elected to Parliament for the first time in 2003, Stephen was education and finance minister for a brief while, and would go on to serve as the country's 11th president between 2007 and 2011.

Ana Guevara (Mexico)

Mexican quarter-miler Guevara has a silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics against her name, but is most famous for having won 28 consecutive races between 2000 and 2004, which included picking up gold at the 2003 World Championship in Paris -- the first gold for a Mexican woman in track events at a major competition. She also won every 400m race in the seven Golden League events in 2002, and won gold in both the 400m and the 4x400m events at the World Cup in Madrid that year.

In 2009, she would enter politics, standing for elections as the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate for Mexico City, eventually losing at the first time of asking. She has been a Mexican senator since 2012, supported by the PRD, the Labour Party, and the Citizen Movement Party.

Jesse Ventura (United States)

Ventura's foray into weightlifting and wrestling, following on from a career in the U.S. Navy, took him into World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), then the WWF, in the 1970s. Ventura created a heel (negative) character for himself, nicknamed 'The Body' during his stint there, capping it off with a Hall of Fame nomination in 2004.

In 1991, Ventura was elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and took charge as the 38th governor of the state in 1999, thus preceding Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial success in California by four years.

Buvaisar Saitiev (Russia)

As a freestyle wrestler, Saitiev's credentials are enough to suggest he is the greatest of all time. A six-time world champion in men's 74kg between 1995 and 2005 -- three of the gold medals came while competing in the 76kg category -- Saitiev also picked up the gold medal at three consecutive Olympics, between Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004. His younger brother Adam completed a double with the 85kg gold in Sydney 2000.

Dagestan-born Saitiev first showed an inclination for politics when he advised Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov during his playing career, and later was president of the Chechen wrestling federation. Saitiev, himself of Chechen origin, ran for election to the Duma under Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party, and was elected successfully in September 2016, thus following in the footsteps of another Russian wrestling great, Aleksandr Karelin.

Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka)

Ranatunga played his country's first Test match at the age of just 18, and went on to serve his country's cricket team with distinction for the next 18 years. The apogee of that career came when he led the Sri Lankans to their first 50-over World Cup victory in 1996, with his innovative leadership methods and ability to get under the skin of the opposition coming in for praise.

After his playing career, Ranatunga joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 2001, and was first nominated as Deputy Minister for Industry, Tourism and Industry Promotion in 2004. A member of the Lankan parliament in three separate stints now, he has also held portfolios for ports and shipping, and petroleum resource development.