LAHORE – After the death of Robin Williams on August 12, came another shocking jolt of legendary Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan being allegedly shot dead. This double blow left many shattered till it was cleared that it was nothing more than a death hoax with news floating on message app media Whatsapp.
But this particular piece had left quite a many followers disturbed as Imran Khan is well known personality from his cricketing days to now a notable face of Pakistan’s politics and that of one of the greatest philanthropist. We take a look at some of the things to know about this Pakistani legend that enjoys a large number of following:
1. Imran Khan was born as Imran Khan Niazi was born on November 25, 1952 to Ikramullah Khan Niaziand his wife Shaukat Khanum. As an only son, Imran Khan grew up as a quiet and shy child along with his four sisters. Imran Khan came from an affluent family Pashtun origin and belonged to the Niazi Shermankhel tribe.
2. Imran Khan comes off a great education background. He has studied from Aitchison College in Lahore and the Royal Grammar School Worcester in England. He later enrolled in prestigious Keble College, Oxford where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. Imran Khan got Bachelors of Art degree in 1975.
3. Imran Khan belongs to family with many cricketers – like Javed Burki, Majid Khan to the current crop of players like present Pakistani Captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Despite excelling in cricket during his stay in England, Imran Khan did not get off to a flying start in the first class cricket when he made his debut at the age of 16. In 1971, Imran Khan made his test cricket debut against England in Birmingham while his One Day International debut took place three years later in 1974, once again playing against England at Nottingham for the Prudential Trophy.
4. Imran Khan recognized as one of the finest bowlers and second best all-rounders after Sir Gary Sobers was the winning captain of Pakistan, when the team lifted the 1992 World Cup. Imran Khan scored 3807 runs and grabbed 362 wickets during his Test career. He took over Pakistan’s captaincy as the age of 30 in 1982 and at the age of 39, Imran Khan took the winning last wicket himself against England to help Pakistan win their first World Cup.
5. Imran Khan is recipient of several awards like Hilal-i-Imtiaz – the second highest civilian award and honour given to both civilians and military officers of the Pakistan armed forces by the Government of Pakistan in 1992. Imran won Pride of Performance, another major civil awards conferred by the Government of Pakistan on Pakistani civilians in recognition of distinguished merit in the fields of Literature, Arts, Sports, Medicines, and Science. For his excellence as a cricketer on field, Imran Khan won the Asian Sportsman of the year and Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1983.
6. Imran Khan is the Founder and Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or commonly known as PTI. PTI is said to be the only non-family party of mainstream Pakistani politics. It has over 10 million members in Pakistan and abroad making it Pakistan’s largest party by membership. Imran Khan post retirement has believed in philanthropy and occasional column writer. He founded Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust and established Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in 1994 that was Pakistan’s first hospital for cancer treatment. Imran’s mother died of cancer, which motivated him to initiate the cancer hospital project. He has written opinion pieces on cricket that has been published in India’s Outlook magazine, the Guardian, the Independent, and the Telegraph.
7. Imran Khan was married to Jemima Goldsmith, an English journalist in a private two-minute ceremony in Paris and later was married again in a civil ceremony at the Richmond registry office in England. The couple has two sons – Sulaiman Isa and Kasim before splitting in 2004. The marriage ended on 22 June 2004, as it was becoming “difficult for Jemima to adapt to life in Pakistan”. But post divorce, Jemima has not changed her name and continues to maintain her close friendship with Imran.
Imran Khan was one of the finest people during his days as a cricketer and has been ruling the heart post retirement as well. There were reports of him undergoing emergency surgery at Lahore’s Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital to remove an obstruction in his small intestine in 2009. His health along with the gaining popularity in the political corridor of Pakistan makes him a vulnerable target.