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Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Imran Khan became an inspiration to youngsters for venturing into cricket on an international level. He is indisputably the greatest cricketer to emerge from Pakistan and arguably the World’s second-best all-rounder after Garry Sobers. He is credited for leading Pakistan to its first ever Cricket World Cup title in 1992, thereby being termed as the most successful and prominent cricket captain of Pakistan.

Thousands, who had never dreamt of bowling fast on heartless baked mud suddenly wanted to emulate Imran and his lithe bounding and his reverse-swinging Yorker.

Imran Khan was born on November 25, 1952 in Lahore, Pakistan, the only son of Ikramullah Khan Niazi and Shaukat Khanum. Khan was educated at elite school in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, including the Royal Grammar School in England and Aitchison College in Lahore. Hailing from cricketing family, including two older cousins, who both served as the captains of the Pakistan national team, Imran played the game as the teenager in Pakistan and continued in England.

Imran Khan made his Test cricket debut at the age of sixteen for Pakistan’s national team in 1971 against England, but he did not take a permanent place on the team until after his graduation from Oxford in 1976. After graduating from Oxford, he returned to Pakistan in 1976 and secures a permanent place on his native national team starting from the 1976-77 season, during which they faced New Zealand and Australia. Imran made his debut in the One Day international match, once again playing against England at Nottingham in 1974.

Imran’s splendid performance against New Zealand and Australia during 1976-1977 added to his rapid success which made him a prominent fast bowler in Pakistan during the 1980s. As a fast bowler, Imran reached the peak of his power in 1982, where he got 62 wickets at an average of 13.29 in 9 Tests. This was the lowest average of ant bowler in Test history with at least 50 wickets in a calendar year.

His averages, 37 with bat and 22 with the ball, put him at the top of the quartet of all time allrounders Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Kapil Dev, who dominated Test cricket in the 1980s.

Imran Khan was named captain of the Pakistani team in 1982 from Javed Miandad. Khan,s first year as a captain was the peak of his legacy as a fast bowling all-rounder. As a captain, Khan played 48 Test matches, out of which 14 were won by Pakistan. In the team’s second match, Khan led them to their first Test win on English soil for 28 years at Lord’s.

Khan retired after 1987 World Cup, owning to popular demand he was requested to come back by the president of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq to lead the team once again. In 1992 Imran Khan achieved his greatest athletic success when he led the Pakistani team to its first World Cup title, defeating England in the final.

At overall Imran Khan played 126 innings in 88 Test matches for Pakistan and scored 3,807 runs with an average of 37.69, He is the one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an ‘All-rounder’s Triple’ in Test matches. He scored 3,709 runs in 175 One Day Internationals with a batting average of 33.41 and took 182 wickets with 6/14 as best bowling figures.

Khan retired from International cricket in 1992, having secured a reputation as one of the greatest cricketing all-rounder in the history of cricket.

Imran was awarded as the second highest civilian award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, from the government of Pakistan. In 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

After his retirement from cricket, Khan became an outspoken critic of government mismanagement and corruption in Pakistan. He founded his own political party, Tehreek-e-Insaf in 1996. Further evidence of Khan’s rising fortunes came into the form of an opinion poll in 2012 that found him to be the most popular political figure in Pakistan.