Imran Khan Niazi PP, HI, world renowned as a former first-class cricketer, with a career spaning for over two decades, as well as the national leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, was born to a Pashtun family in Lahore, Punjab, India, and was educated at Aitchison, Worcester, England. Here are some really interesting facts about the former Pakistan cricketer:
In April 1996, he founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a centrist political party and serves as its parliamentary leader of the party.
In the 2013,election Khan’s PTI emerged as the second largest party and they became the opposition party in Punjab and Sindh.
In 2009, he was one of the fifty-five cricketers inducted into the ‘ICC Hall of Fame,’ at its centennial year celebration.
Khan is descendant of the Sufi warrior-poet and inventor of the Pashto alphabet, PirRoshan. He is the only son of Ikramulla Khan Nazi and ShaukatKhanum.
He did his schooling at Aitchison College in Lahore and at Royal Grammar School Worcester in England. He graduated with honors in 1975 from Keble College, Oxford, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Khan honed his cricketing skill in Lahore playing grade cricket and made his first class debut at age of 16 years. Playing for Lahore ‘A’ against Sargodha, in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in September 1969, he scored 30 runs opening the innings and took 2 for 43 in the lone innings he bowled.
He also represented University of Oxford’s Blues, Worcestershire, Sussex and New South wales finishing with 1287 wickets at an average of 22.32 and scored 17771 runs at 36.79, over all in first class cricket.
Khan made his Test debut for Pakistan during the 1971, tour of England in the first Test at Edgbaston. He scored five runs before being run out and went wicket less in both the innings.
Taking inspiration from his mother’s death due to cancer, he founded ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre on December 29, 1994, offering free service. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for his contribution to cancer research.
According to ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Rating, Khan ranks third in the all-time list with 922 rating points which he achieved on February 03, 1983. Players make the list by sustaining excellent form over a prolonged period.
As an average medium-pace bowler at the start of his career, he established as one of the fastest bowlers when he finished third fastest behind Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding with 139.7 km/h in fast bowling contest in Perth in 1978.
In the 1982, season he reached his peak form with 62 wickets in only nine test at an average of 13.29 each. He has the best averages of all bowlers with an economy of 2.09, striking at 38.0.
Khan also has a unique record of best bowling analysis for a losing cause. In a match against India in the Rothmans Four-Nation Cup at Sharjah, on March 22, 1985, his analysis read 6 for 14 in 10 overs with two maiden at an economy of 1.40. After bowling out India for 125, Pakistan was all out for 87 in 32.5 overs. He was named Man of the Match.
He achieved the ‘all-rounders triple’ of securing 3000 runs and 300 wickets in his 75th test match, the second fastest behind Ian Botham’s 72 matches.
He was a strong advocate of international cricket matches employing ‘neutral’ umpires and was highly critical of the credibility of English umpires in matches involving England.
His cricket spanned over two decade in which he played 88 tests scoring 3,807 runs and 175 ODIs scoring 3,709 runs. He also has to his credit 362 and 182 wickets respectively.
Khan captained Pakistan for the first time during the tour of England in 1982 series and achieved first test win English soil in 28 years. He went on to captain in 48 test and 139 ODIs with marginal success.
He achieved pinnacle of his captaincy when he won the 1992 World Cup. He promoted himself in batting order in the finals and top scored with 72 runs and sealed the match and cup by taking the last wicket.
In 1994, he admitted that he occasionally scratched the ball and lifted the seam during a test match. This created lot of controversy over ball tampering.
In 1996, he won a legal battle against English cricketers Ian Botham and Allan Lamb over ball-tampering after Khan protested that he was misquoted. The judge labeled this a ‘complete exercise in futility.’
On November 23, 2005, Khan was appointed as the Chancellor of University of Bradford. Following students discontent over constant absence, he was forced to resign on November 30, 2014, from the post.
As UNICEFs Special Representative for Sports, he issued a statement on the World No Tobacco Day 2002, urging internationals sports world to become ‘Tobacco Free’ by not accepting sponsorship from Tobacco Companies. He also promoted health and immunization program in south Asia.
On April 27, 2008, he established a technical college, Namal College in collaboration with Mianwali Development Trust and plans to convert the area into Namal Knowledge City by 2020.
He has written seven books since the publication of his autobiography in 1983. He followed it up with a book on cricket, ‘Imran Khan’s cricket skills,’ ‘Pakistan: A Personal History,’ ‘Warrior Race: Journey through the Land of Tribal Pathans,’ ‘All Round Views,’ ‘Indus Journey: A Personal View of Pakistan’ and ‘West and East.’
In 2010, a biographical film on his life was made by Pakistan production house titled ‘Kaptaan: The Making of Legend.’
On August 01, 2017, a former member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Ayesha Gulalai came forward with allegation of sexual harassment against Khan. She later was ready to apologize, if he accepts his mistake of sending her unsolicited text messages.
According to survey conducted by ‘YouGov’ UK, for the ‘World’s Most Admired People’ Khan stood 12th.
His ideology is based on the poet-philosopher Muhammad Igbal and Iranian writer-sociologist Ali Shariati. He is against US drone strikes and plans to disengage Pakistan from US-led war on terror.
In 1995, he married Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of late British billionaire Sir James Goldsmith and divorced in 2004. They have two sons named Qasim and Suleiman.
In January 2018, Khan has said that he has sent a marriage proposal to a faith healer, Bushra Maneka, whom he has sought out for spiritual healing in the past.