Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan and a former cricketer. He became a source of motivation for young cricketers. He rose to prominence as one of Pakistan’s best cricketers thanks to his incredible talent. His transformation from cricket’s biggest heartthrob to a powerful politician is both inspiring and amazing. He is credited with leading Pakistan to its first ever Cricket World Cup victory in 1992, defeating England, earning him the title of Pakistan’s most successful and well-known cricket captain. This world-class cricketer astounded the globe as a superb fast bowler and all-rounder, boosting cricket’s popularity in his homeland. He was a standout not only on the cricket field, but also in the political and social arenas. In 1992, he withdrew from cricket and founded his own political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice). After losing his mother to illness, he established the first cancer hospital in Lahore. He is actively involved in raising funds for a variety of health and educational projects, lending a helping hand to those who are less fortunate and deserving.
Childhood and Personal Experiences
Imran Khan Niazi was born in Lahore on October 5, 1952, to Ikramullah Khan Niazi and Shaukat Khanam, into a wealthy Pashtun family.
He graduated from English-medium Aitchison College in Lahore and went on to Royal Grammar School in Worcester, England, to further his education.
In 1975, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Keble College, University of Oxford. He grew up in a cricketing family and began playing as a teenager in Pakistan before continuing in England.
Career of Imran Khan
He made his test debut in the 1971 English series at Birmingham, but due to his lackluster performance, he failed to make an impression.
He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in the Prudential Trophy in 1974, and after returning to Pakistan, he was named in the national team.
His outstanding performances against New Zealand and Australia in 1976-77 contributed to his swift rise to prominence as a fast bowler in Pakistan in the 1980s.
In 1982, he was named captain of the Pakistan cricket team. He was a sensation as a fast bowler and all-rounder, leading his country to its first Test victory over England in 28 years at Lord’s.
Pakistan won 14 of the 48 test matches they played under his captaincy, losing 8 and drawing 26. He appeared in 139 ODI matches, winning 77, losing 57, and tying one.
For two years, he was unable to play cricket due to a stress fracture in his shin. In 1987, he returned to give Pakistan its first-ever Test series victory over India, followed by a Test series victory in England.
He left Pakistan in 1987 but returned in 1988 at the behest of Pakistani President General Zia-ul-Haq. He was named ‘Man of the Series’ after taking 23 wickets in three Tests against the West Indies.
In 1991, he founded the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to cancer research and development. It was named after his mother.
In 1992, he resigned from cricket after scoring 3807 runs and taking 362 wickets in tests and 3709 runs and 182 wickets in one-day internationals.
In 1997, he entered politics by founding his own political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), with the goal of eliminating corruption and mismanagement in Pakistan.
He ran for and was elected as a Member of Parliament from Mianwali in the October 2002 elections.
In 2008, he formed the ‘Imran Khan Foundation’ and founded Namal Institution, an affiliate college of the University of Bradford.
He established the ‘Naya Pakistan Resolution’ during the 2013 election campaign, and his party became a challenge to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
He turned down an invitation to work with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
After tumbling from a stage during a campaign rally four days before the election, he hurt his head and back and continued to campaign from the hospital, but his party lost to the PML-N.
Imran’s party gained the most seats in the 2018 Pakistan general elections, toppling the government PML-N. On August 18, 2018, he was sworn in as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister.
Outlook, Guardian, Independent, and Telegraph, among other British and Asian media and Indian periodicals, have featured his thoughts on cricket.
He serves as a cricket commentator for a variety of sports networks, including Star TV, BBC Urdu, and TEN Sports.
Achievements and Records
Despite suffering from a ruptured shoulder cartilage, he became a national hero in Pakistan in 1992, when he won the first ODI Cricket World Cup for Pakistan, defeating England in the finals in Melbourne.
This all-triple rounder’s in 75 tests, which included 3000 runs and 300 wickets, is considered to be the second-fastest record in the world, trailing only Englishman Ian Botham’s 72.
As a captain, he has the world records for most wickets, greatest bowling strike rate, best bowling average in test cricket, and best bowling stats (8 wickets for 60 runs).
Awards of Imran Khan
In 1976 and 1980, he got the ‘Cricket Society Wetherall Award’ for being the best all-rounder in English first-class cricket.
In 1985, he was named the “Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year.”
The Government of Pakistan bestowed upon him the second highest civilian honor, the Hilal-e-Imtiaz.
He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asian Jewels Awards in London in 2004 for his contributions to numerous charity programs.
For establishing Pakistan’s first cancer hospital, he received the Humanitarian Award at the 2007 Asian Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur.
At the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Awards in Karachi in 2009, he won the special silver jubilee award alongside other cricket icons.
As part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) centenary year celebrations, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
In 2012, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh granted him an honorary fellowship in recognition of his work in cancer therapy in Pakistan.
He was named ‘Person of the Year 2012’ by Asia Society and ranked #3 in GlobalPost’s ranking of the “top nine world leaders.”
Personal History and Legacy
In May 1995, he married English socialite Jemima Goldsmith, who had converted to Islam before the wedding, in a traditional Islamic ceremony in Paris. After a month, the couple remarried in a civil ceremony in Richmond. Sulaiman Isa (1996) and Kasim (1998) are their two sons (1999). Jemima cited difficulty adjusting to Pakistani life as the reason for the couple’s nine-year marriage ending in June 2004.
His choice to enter full-fledged politics strained his marriage, leading to accusations from his opponents that he was tied to Zionists because Jemima’s father was Jewish.
Despite opposition from his own family, he married British-Pakistani divorcee Reham Khan, a former BBC weather girl, in a covert wedding at his Islamabad home in January 2015. The couple split in October 2015 after a short-lived marriage. Bushra Manika, his spiritual advisor, wedded him in February 2018.
Estimated Net Worth
Imran Khan has a net worth of $50 million dollars.
This cricket hero comes from a family of excellent cricketers, including Javed Burki and Majid Khan, both Oxford graduates and captains of the Pakistan national team.