Imran Khan From Cricket Hero to Pakistan Leader
Imran Khan, in full Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi (born November 25, 1952, Lahore, Pakistan), Pakistani cricket player, politician, and philanthropist who became a national hero by leading the Pakistani team to a World Cup victory in 1992 and later entered politics as a critic of government corruption in Pakistan.
Khan was born in Lahore, the only son of Ikramullah Khan Niazi, a civil engineer, and his wife Shaukat Khanum. Long settled in Mianwali in northwestern Punjab, the family are of Pashtun ethnicity and belong to the Niazi tribe. A quiet and shy boy in his youth, Khan grew up with his four sisters in relatively affluent (upper middle-class) circumstances and received a privileged education. He was educated at Aitchison College in Lahore and the Royal Grammar School Worcester in England, where he excelled at cricket. In 1972 he enrolled in Keble College, Oxford where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating with honours in 1975.
Khan’s mother hailed from the Burki family which had produced several successful cricketers, including such household names as cricketers Javed Burki, Majid Khan and, paternally (from the Niazi tribe then), to Misbah-ul-Haq.
Khan is also a descendant of the Sufi warrior-poet and inventor of the Pashto alphabet, Pir Roshan, who hailed from his maternal family’s ancestral Kaniguram town in South Waziristan,Pakistan, and a cousin to one of Pakistan’s leading English-language columnist, Khaled Ahmed.
Khan made a lackluster first-class cricket debut at the age of sixteen in Lahore. By the start of the 1970s. Khan was part of University of Oxford’s Blues Cricket team during the 1973–1975 seasons. At Worcestershire, where he played county cricket from 1971 to 1976, he was regarded as only an average medium-pace bowler.
Khan made his test cricket debut against England in 1971 in the city of Birmingham. Three years later, he debuted in the One Day International (ODI) match, once again playing against England at Nottingham for the Prudential Trophy. After graduating from Oxford and finishing his tenure at Worcestershire, he returned to Pakistan in 1976 and secured a permanent place on his native national team starting from the 1976–1977 season, during which they faced New Zealand and Australia. As a fast bowler, Khan reached the peak of his powers in 1982. Khan achieved the all-rounder’s triple (securing 3000 runs and 300 wickets) in 75 Tests, the second fastest record behind Ian Botham’s 72. He is also established as having the second highest all-time batting average of 61.86 for a Test batsman playing at position 6 of the batting order. He played his last Test match for Pakistan in January 1992, against Sri Lanka at Faisalabad. Khan retired permanently from cricket six months after his last ODI, the historic 1992 World Cup final against England in Melbourne, Australia. He ended his career with 88 Test matches, 126 innings and scored 3807 runs at an average of 37.69, including six centuries and 18 fifties. His highest score was 136 runs. As a bowler, he took 362 wickets in Test cricket, which made him the first Pakistani and world’s fourth bowler to do so. In ODIs, he played 175 matches and scored 3709 runs at an average of 33.41. His highest score remains 102 not out. His best ODI bowling is documented at 6 wickets for 14 runs.
During the 1990s, Khan also served as UNICEF’s Special Representative for Sports and promoted health and immunisation programmes in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. While in London, he also works with the Lord’s Taverners, a cricket charity.
Khan focused his efforts solely on social work. By 1991, he had founded the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, a charity organisation bearing the name of his mother, Mrs. Shaukat Khanum. As the Trust’s maiden endeavour, Khan established Pakistan’s first and only cancer hospital, constructed using donations and funds exceeding $25 million, raised by Khan from all over the world.
On 27 April 2008, Khan established a technical college in the Mianwali District called Namal College. It was built by the Mianwali Development Trust (MDT), and is an associate college of the University of Bradford in December 2005.
Imran Khan Foundation is another welfare work, which aims to assist needy people all over Pakistan. It has provided help to flood victims in Pakistan. Buksh Foundation has partnered with the Imran Khan Foundation to light up villages in Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Dera Ismail Khan under the project ‘Lighting a Million Lives’. The campaign will establish several Solar Charging Stations in the selected off-grid villages and will provide villagers with solar lanterns, which can be regularly charged at the solar-charging stations.
In 1996, Khan founded a political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The 2002 Pakistani general election in October across 272 constituencies, Khan anticipated in the elections and was prepared to form a coalition if his party did not get a majority of the vote. He was elected from Mianwali. He has also served as a part of the Standing Committees on Kashmir and Public Accounts.
On 2 October 2007, as part of the All Parties Democratic Movement, Khan joined 85 other MPs to resign from Parliament in protest of the presidential election scheduled for 6 October, which general Musharraf was contesting without resigning as army chief. On 3 November 2007, Khan was put under house arrest, after president Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan. Later Khan escaped and went into hiding. He eventually came out of hiding on 14 November to join a student protest at the University of the Punjab.
On 30 October 2011, Khan addressed more than 100,000 supporters in Lahore, challenging the policies of the government, calling that new change a “tsunami” against the ruling parties, Another successful public gathering of hundreds of thousands of supporters was held in Karachi on 25 December 2011. Since then Khan has become a real threat to the ruling parties and a future political prospect in Pakistan. According to the International Republican Institute’s (IRI’s) survey, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tops the list of popular parties in Pakistan both at the national and provincial level.
On 23 March 2013, Khan introduced the “Naya Pakistan Resolution” at the start of his election campaign. On 29 April The Observer termed Khan and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as the main opposition to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
On 21 April 2013 Khan launched his final public relations campaign for the 2013 elections from Lahore where he addressed thousands of supporters at The Mall, Lahore.
On January 2014, YouGov ranked Khan as a famous person in and out of Pakistan. Between 2011 and 2013.
Awards and Honors
- Khan is featured in the University of Oxford’s Hall of Fame and has been an honorary fellow of Oxford’s Keble College.
- In 1976 and 1980, Khan was awarded The Cricket Society Wetherall Award for being the leading all-rounder in English first-class cricket.
- In 1983, he was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year
- In 1983, he received the president’s Pride of Performance Award
- In 1985, Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year
- In 1990, Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year
- In 1992, Khan was given Pakistan’s civil award, the Hilal-i-Imtiaz
- On 8 July 2004, Khan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Asian Jewel Awards in London, for “acting as a figurehead for many international charities and working hard in fund-raising activities.”
- On 7 December 2005, Khan was appointed the fifth Chancellor of the University of Bradford, where he is also a patron of the Born in Bradford research project.
- On 13 December 2007, Khan received the Humanitarian Award at the Asian Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur for his efforts in setting up the first cancer hospital in Pakistan.
- On 5 July 2008, he was one of several veteran Asian cricketers presented special silver jubilee awards at the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) award ceremony in Karachi.
- In 2009, at the International Cricket Council’s centennial year celebration, Khan was one of fifty-five cricketers inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
- In 2011 he was given the Jinnah Award.
- On 28 July 2012, Imran Khan was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in recognition of his services for cancer treatment in Pakistan.
- In 2012 according to Pew Research Center, seven out of ten Pakistani respondents offered a favourable opinion about Khan. The survey also revealed that Khan enjoys popularity among youth.
- He was the Asia Society’s Person of the Year 2012.
- In December 2012, GlobalPost ranked him third in a list of the top nine world leaders.
- Khan, Imran & Murphy, Patrick (1983). Imran: The autobiography of Imran Khan.
- Khan, Imran (1989). Imran Khan’s cricket skills. London.
- Khan, Imran (1991). Indus Journey: A Personal View of Pakistan.
- Khan, Imran (1992). All Round View.
- Khan, Imran (1993). Warrior Race: A Journey Through the Land of the Tribal Pathans.
- Khan, Imran (2011). Pakistan: A Personal History.