Pakistan’s first genuine fast bowler, Imran Khan, is one of the most iconic leaders of all times. He has achieved international recognition and often called the main architect of Pakistani cricket. Let’s have a look at some interesting facts about this superstar cricket player turned political leader of Pakistan:
Imran Khan was born in Lahore on October 5th, 1952. There’s a a different birth date available over internet as November 25th but his official Facebook Page suggests that he was born on October 5th. He’s the only son of his parents & was educated at the most prestigious school of Pakistan, the Aitchison College Lahore. He later on went to England for studies & got enrolled in the Oxford in 1972 where he studied politics, philosophy & economics.
Many people don’t know his full name. Most people just know him as Imran Khan or Imran Khan Niazi but his full name is Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi.
At his early age, Imran Khan was very adamant at being a cricket player at just the age of 9 years old and at the age of 16, he made his first class debut and after playing just a few games he was selected to play for Pakistan while he was still studying at Oxford. From there he waited for three years to play his second test match. In 1974, Imran Khan picked up his first test wicket against England and then again waited for another two years. But, despite all this waiting his determination never stopped and eventually it started to pay off when began playing regular cricket in 1976.
Imran Khan left a huge legacy in the world of cricket. He was Pakistan’s most successful cricket captain. He led his Pakistan to win the cricket world cup in 1992. He played cricket for Pakistan from 1971 to 1992 and served as captain of the team from 1982 to 1992.
Imran Khan announced his retirement from cricket in 1987, after the world cup. However, Pakistan’s president at that time, General Zia Ul Haq asked him to lead the team till the next world cup 1992 & he accepted the offer and this can be said that it was one of the best decision he took. Because, it was Imran Khan he led Pakistan to victory of 1992 cricket world cup.
Now moving away from the world of cricket to his political career, in 1997 he founded Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and became chairman of the political party. He was elected as member of the National Assembly in 2002 from Mianwali and remain a part of it till 2007. He was then elected again in 2013 elections and till date (August 8th, 2017) he’s a member of the National Assembly with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf as one the leading political parties of the country.
Although Imran Khan achieved great things in his cricket, social & political career, his life had been controversial. Back in 1995, he married to a 21 years old British journalist, Jemima Goldsmith and that made him super controversial. Jemima was the daughter of a billionaire Sir James Goldsmith and she even converted to Islam for her wedding with Imran Khan. While British journalists were obsessed with all the scandals involving Imran Khan, in Pakistan, people were expecting some political fallout from this relationship. So, it’s no surprise that there marriage ended in 2004 and that totally happened because of their differences in political views & Imran Khan’s involvement in politics.
But wedding with Jemima was not the only controversy in Imran Khan’s life. In 1994, he had admitted to ball tampering in cricket. Later in 1996, two British cricketers, Ian Botham & Allan Lamb sued Imran Khan after he allegedly called them raciest during the argument over ball tampering. Luckily for Imran, he ended up winning the case. Talking to press he said that he never called anyone a raciest & this was proved in the courts too.
Then in 1997, a Los Angles court ruled that Imran Khan is the legal father of a 4 years old Californian girl named Tyrian White. She was born out of a love affair that Imran Khan had with her mother, Sita White who later died in 2004 due to a heart attack. And then he was super popular in the British gossip columns for having relations with journalist Susannah Constantine, Lady Liza Campbell and the artist Emma Sergeant. But with controversies aside it never stopped him from having a very successful career.
He was selected as the Asia’s person of the year in 2012 & he won the title with 88% of the votes in his favor. That’s the highest percentage of voting ever! He’s also in the Oxford University’s cricket hall of fame and he received the best cricketer award from the Indian cricket as well as from a number of other societies.
Apart from being a cricketer & a politician, Imran Khan is also an author. He has authored several books that include ‘Imran’ his autobiography, ‘Imran Khan’s Cricket Skills’, ‘Indus Journey’ his personal view of Pakistan and several others.
“He had a presence that managed to make Pakistan the best team in the world. The greatest thing he ever achieved was the unity in the team.” said Andrew Miller.
Talking to Daily Telegraph of England about his political goal, Imran Khan said: “I want Pakistan to be a welfare state and a genuine democracy with a rule of law and an independent judiciary. We need decentralization, empowering people at the grassroots.”
These’re just a few facts of Imran Khan’s life. I’ll be sharing more very soon!