Imran Khan Niazi Early Biography and Education
Imran Khan was born on the 25th of November, 1952 in Lahore, NE Pakistan, the son of Ikram Ullah Khan Niazi and Shaukat Khanum. His family is Punjabi speaking of Pathan origin. Khan, as a boy, was a bit shy. He had four sisters and together they grew up nurtured in an upper–middle class ambience. He received good education in Lahore at a Cathedral School.
Later on, he studied at the Royal Grammar School Worcester in UK. At this school, he showed a good grasp of the game of cricket. Later on, he went back to Pakistan to continue his studies at Aitchison College in Lahore. He enrolled later on at Keble College, Oxford, where he took up Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He subsequently graduated with a degree (second class) in Politics and Economics.
Khan made his first-class cricket debut at the early age of 16 in Lahore. At the onset of 1970, he was already playing for the team of Lahore A in the years 1969 to 1970; likewise, he also suited up for Lahore B from 1969 to 1970. Moreover, from 1970 to 1971, he played for the Lahore Greens and later on for the Lahore (1970-1971).
He was a member of Blues Cricket Team of Oxford University and played in the 1973 to 1975 seasons. During his stint at Worcestershire, he was categorized as an average medium pace bowler.
Early Career as Cricket Player
He also represented Dawood Industries (1975-76) and the Pakistan International Airlines from 1975 to 1976 and from 1980 to 1981. He later on played for Sussex from 1983 to 1988. However, it was in 1971 that Khan first played in his Test Cricket at Birmingham against England.
Three years after, in 1974, he again played a match in the One Day International (ODI) against England at Nottingham. After finishing his tenure at Worcestershire, he then returned to Pakistan in the year 1976 and secured for himself a permanent spot in the national team in the 1976-1977’s season during which the national team played against New Zealand and Australia.
Imran Khan Niazi Starts Making News
After the Australian series, he readily toured the West Indies, where he got acquainted with Tony Greig, who encouraged him to sign up for the World Series Cricket of Kerry Packer. During this time, he began to make a name for himself as one of the elite bowlers of the world when he ended up third at 139.7 km/h at Perth during a fast bowling contest in 1978 which was a mark just slightly behind those of Michael Holding and Jeff Thomson, yet ahead of Garth le Roux, Dennis Lillee, and Andy Roberts.
Khan's prowess as a player peaked in the year 1982. In a series of 9 Tests, he had 62 wickets each at 13.29, which is the lowest average that any bowler has in Test history with 50 wickets in a year. In January of 1983, he attained 922 points in a Test bowling; this rating was ranked third in the All-Time Bowling Rankings of the ICC.
In 75 Tests, Khan attained the all-rounder's triple when he secured 3000 runs and 300 wickets which was a record considered as the second fastest behind that of Ian Botham. He also achieved the all-time second highest batting average of 61.86 for Test batsman who plays at position 6. He finally retired from professional cricket after the momentous 1992 World Cup final victory against England, which was played at Melbourne, Australia.
Leading Pakistan Cricket Team to Victory
Khan became the captain of the national team in 1982, replacing Javed Miandad. He played 48 matches, 14 of which Pakistan had won. Pakistan lost 8 of these matches and had drawn 26 of the remaining matches. For 28 years Pakistan haven't won against England in the English soil. But when Khan took the helm of the team, they immediately won in the second match at Lord's.
His first year as the captain showed his genius as a fast bowler and an all-rounder. In a match against Sri Lanka, which was fortunately held at Lahore, he registered a record of his career by taking 8 wickets for 58 runs in the year 1982-1983. Likewise, he took 21 wickets with an average of 56 batting as he easily topped both the batting and bowling average in 1982 in 3 Test series.
In the latter part of the year, he made a noteworthy performance against the highly vaunted Indian Team in which he took 40 wickets in 6 Test with an average of 13.95. He casually ended the series by taking 88 wickets during 13 Test matches within the period of one year during his captaincy.
A Brief Interlude and Retiring for Good
An unfortunate incident happened during the same Test series with India in which Khan fractured his shinbone which sidelined him for almost two years. He recovered from the injury via an experimental treatment funded by the government, and suited again for his team in the latter part of 1984; consequently, he was able to play in the 1984-85 season.
Another noteworthy event happened in 1987 when Khan spearheaded Pakistan to a win against India. Thereafter, Khan also led the Pakistan nationals to its first series victory in the UK in that same year. It is also worth remembering to say that during that same year, Pakistan team managed to secure three creditable draws contra West Indies.
In 1987, Pakistan, along with India, hosted together the World Cup though neither country was able to move beyond the semi-finals. That same year, Khan decided to retire. However, in 1988, the President of Pakistan asked him to play again. On January 18, he agreed to play once more and led again the Pakistan national team to subsequent victories.
Moreover, he was named the Man of the Series in 1988 in which they played against the West Indies after taking 23 wickets in three Tests. The pinnacle of Khan's career was in the year 1992, when he spearheaded Pakistan to victory in the Cricket World Cup of 1992.
Four years after winning the World cup, Khan got embroiled in a libel case which was filed by former English captain, Ian Botham and Allan Lamb. The jury decided in favor of him with a 10-2 majority decision absolving Khan of any liability.
Years after his retirement, he contributed opinion pieces on cricket to the Asian and British newspapers concerning the Pakistani National Team. Moreover, some of his contributions were published in the Outlook Magazine of India, the Guardian, Telegraph, and the Independent. He also acted as commentator and gave his postgame analysis in major cricket games.
Khan’s Married Life
In 1995, on the 16th of May, Khan was married to Jemima Goldsmith in a typical Islamic ceremony in Paris. They were subsequently married civilly a month later on June 21st at the register office of Richmond, England. The marriage bore two sons, namely, Sulaiman Isa who was born on the 18th of November 1996 and Kasim who was born on the 10th of April 1999.
The couple mutually agreed that Khan would spend 4 months in England every year. However, on the 22nd of June 2004, the Khans announced their divorce on the grounds that Jemima found it hard to adapt herself to the Pakistani's way of life. Khan now lives in Bani Gala, Islamabad, in a sprawling 37 acres of land where he had his house built.
Honoring His Mother with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust
Khan has been an indefatigable figure, not only in the cricket field, but also in the socio-political realms. After his retirement from cricket, Khan focused on social work. Prior to his retirement, he had already established the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which was founded in honor of his mother. Its first major project was to build the first and the sole cancer hospital in Lahore.
Through the charismatic personality of Khan, he was able to garner more than $25 million by means of which the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre was established. It was inaugurated on the 29th of December 1994. Likewise, he is the hospital's current chairman.
Participation as UNICEF’s Sports Envoy
In the 1990s, Khan also served as a special envoy for Sports of UNICEF. His work as the Special Representative of Sports included promoting health and the promulgation of immunization programs in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Moreover, Khan readily involved himself in the upgrading of education in his country. He conceived the establishment of the Technical College of Namal. The Namal College had been inaugurated on the 27th of April, 2008.
It was realized via the funding of Mianwali Development Trust (MDT). Namal College became a University of Bradford's associate college in December 2005. Likewise, he is currently involved in the establishment of a similar hospital in Karachi. In London, he also gets involved in a cricket charity called the Lord's Taverners.
Founding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and becoming an Activist
Khan entered the realm of politics when he founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), his political party, whose rallying points include anti-corruption policies. In the 1997 Pakistan general election, the incipient party did not win any seat.
In 1999, Khan openly supported the military coup of General Musharraf hoping that Musharraf might end the corruption in Pakistan. In the 2002 Pakistani general election held in October, Khan won the Mianwali's NA-71 constituency and was sworn in on the 16 of November as an MP. However, he remained as a vital part of Kashmir Standing Committees. Moreover, he readily expressed his legislative interests concerning Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Education.
In June of 2007, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Dr. Sher Afghan Khan Niazi together with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party separately submitted ineligibility references contra Khan demanding Khan's disqualification as a certified member of the National Assembly on issues of immorality. These petitions were based on the articles 63 and 64 of the present Constitution of Pakistan. Both petitions were rejected on September 5, 2007.
Resignation in the Parliament and House Arrest
The following October of 2007, he resigned together with 85 other members of MPs from Parliament to protest the candidacy of General Musharraf in the scheduled election on October 6. They claimed that General Musharraf should resign as an army chief for him to qualify for candidacy.
Khan was placed under house arrest at the home of his father on November 3, after the declaration of the state of emergency by President Musharraf. Khan asked for a death penalty for Musharraf on contention that the imposition of state of emergency is tantamount to a commitment of treason.
On the 4th of November, Khan escaped from the house arrest and went into hiding, moving from one place to another. Ten days later, he suddenly appeared in a protest held by students in the University of Punjab.
Khan was handed over to the police by students affiliated with the political party of Jamaat-i-Islami, branding him as a nuisance in their rally. He was later on charged based on the Anti-terrorism Act for inciting people to civil disobedience.
The year 2011 augurs well for a political change in Pakistan. On the 30th of October 2011, Khan gained political momentum as shown in rallies which he addressed. On this same day, he delivered an address in Lahore to more than 100,000 supporters. Later on, on December 25, 2011, he again made a successful gathering of more than 250,000 in Karachi.
In both rallies, he challenged the policies of the incumbent government, saying that a new change is imminent like a "tsunami" rampaging against the ruling parties. These huge turnouts in the rallies have made Imran Khan a potent threat to the present ruling parties. Likewise, he readily became a forceful political prospect.
Imran Remains a Picture of Integrity
In the recent surveys conducted by the International Republican Institute, Imran Khan's PTI has become very popular even leapfrogging those of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in popularity. In a survey conducted by another international research organization, it has been found out that Imran Khan has in fact become the most popular figure of the country owing to his firm and principled stance on critical issues besetting the country.
On the 12th of October, Khan spearheaded a vehicle caravan of various protesters starting from Islamabad to Kotai, a village in South Waziristan region of Pakistan. This caravan was staged to protest U.S. missile strikes contra the Islamic Militants of the tribal regions of Northern Pakistan. The members of Code Pink, an activist group based in the U.S. also joined in the caravan.
The national election in 2013 is fast approaching and the people of Pakistan will once again exercise their political right to choose the people who would steer their country to the much–sought–after change and development. Khan and his political party, and the principled stance which permeates the party could be the necessary cog in the wheel of change.
- 1976: Awarded the Cricket Society Wetherall Award as leading all-rounder in English cricket.
- 1980: Awarded the Cricket Society Wetherall Award the second time around.
- 1983: Awarded the president’s Pride of Performance Award
- 1983: Named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year
- 1985: Awarded as Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year
- 1990: Awarded as Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year award
- 1990: UNICEF Special Representative for Sports.
- 2007: Received the Humanitarian Award, Asian Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- 2008: Presented with special Silver Jubilee awards at the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Karachi, Pakistan
- 2009: Inducted into the ICC (International Cricket Council) Hall of Fame.
- 2011: Receives the Jinnah Award
- 1992: Presented with Pakistan's 2nd highest civil award, the Hilal-i-Imtiaz.
- 2004: Presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Asian Jewel Awards in London, U.K.
- 2005: Appointed as the fifth Chancellor of the University of Bradford, U.K.
- 2012: Honorary Fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, U.K.
- 2012: Honorary Fellow, University of Oxford Keble College, U.K.