Imran Khan is all set to be crowned Pakistan’s next Prime Minister after his party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) inched closer to clinching the Pakistan Election. If that happens, the 65-year-old will become the first World Cup-winning captain to be elected as the Prime Minister of any country, a rare feat, reports agencies.
Who can forget Imran in his run-up with flowing locks and long hair, a sight unmissable! Monstrously talented, a hit among the ladies and a leader par excellence, Imran Khan came out of retirement to lead his country to win the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He did that because he wanted to raise funds to build a hospital for cancer patients.
Imran is credited with making Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis one of the most dangerous bowling pairs in cricket. The Wasim-Waqar duo terrorised batsmen across the world with their reverse swing, an art they inherited from Imran.
Later on in his career, Imran also became a good batsman, someone who could take on the bowling and do it effectively. He is often compared with India’s Kapil Dev and Ian Botham. Both former India, England and Pakistan captains had an identical arsenal. Pakistan’s would-be Prime Minister played 88 Tests and 172 ODIs, picking 362 and 182 wickets respectively. His election could potentially have some impact on the workings of the PCB. For a start, as Prime Minister, he will become patron of the board, which gives him considerable sway over the composition of the governing board. He can directly nominate two members to it, according to the PCB’s constitution, and he has the power to remove a chairman. That could be significant because his relationship with the incumbent Najam Sethi is an especially acrimonious one, stemming from the 2013 elections. And it has long been an unwritten rule in Pakistan politics that a change of government inevitably brings a change in PCB administration.
Pakistan has not won a World Cup since 1992, which makes him the only Pakistani to lift the crown. That is also a testament to the fact that he is the most popular cricketer of Pakistan. Imran founded the party in 1996, four years after retiring from international cricket, his last act the final wicket in Pakistan’s memorable – and so far only – World Cup win in 1992.
As it stands, he is the first international cricketer to be elected Prime Minister; George Weah, the footballer, is a notable parallel, having recently been elected President of Liberia. Imran’s fiercest political rival over the last few years and Prime Minister until last year, Nawaz Sharif, has incidentally played one game of first-class cricket.