Imran Khan the “Charismatic Leader “Imran Khan was delineated as emir although he didn’t have any such connections. Born and brought up in a fiercely anti-colonial environment. Shakat, his mother had the greatest influence on him. She was born into the royal Burki clan, who played a pioneering role in the development of cricket in Pakistan. He started his career as an opening batsman for the Aitchison College school team. At the age of 16, he was selected to play first-class cricket for Lahore. Few years later he was chosen to represent Pakistan XI against Mickey Stewart’s International XI.His performance in this match earned him a Test cap, a 1971 tour of England. A year later, Imran was on his way to Oxford, this exposure helped him to develop as a leader.Imran took the charge of Pakistan team at a vital moment in 1982, when the game was changing rapidly. One of the most honest people to play the game, dropped his brother and role model Majid Khan from the team when he was not performing. Later on, Majid did not speak to Imran for twenty-five years. If Imran felt any guilt, he took it on the English, reducing them from 168/2 to 272 all out(7/52). The next test for Imran was against Aussies. The first test at Karachi was marred over Zaheer Abbas selection, his supporters threatened to blast the stadium if he was not selected. Pakistan went on to win this match by an inning and three runs. Australia lost the series 0-3. Imran now faced the ultimate challenge for any Pakistan skipper, home series against India. At this point in time, cricket was graced by a quartet of outstanding all_rounders Kapil Dev, Imran, Sir Ian Botham, and Richard Hadlee. Whenever they met, there would be personal duel, Kapil won when Pakistan toured India, this time Imran would emerge as the winner. The first test ended in a draw, Pakistan defeated India in Karachi, Pakistan test by an inning and 86 runs. As usual, Imran enjoyed the sea breeze at Karachi and produced one of the greatest spell 8/60 as India was bundled out for 197. His break_back delivery to bowled Sunil Gavaskar and reverse-swinging yorker to Gundappa Vishwanath (his 200th victim)is now the part of great cricket literature. In the next test at Faisalabad, he equaled Botham’s feat of ten wickets and a century in the same match. Pakistan won the series 3-0.
The greatest achievement of Imran was to lead Pakistan to the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup win. As the saying goes legends perform in big matches, his knock of 72 against England in the 1992 World Cup final is easily his best ODI knock. Pakistan Cricket Team were struggling at 24/2 then Imran walked and steered the ship with Miandad the duo added 139 for the third wicket. After the 1992 World Cup Final, he retired from International Cricket.
Now let’s look at what statistics convey about Imran.
- He lead Pakistan to a World Cup win in 1992.
- In 1982 he picked 62 wickets at an average of 13.29. (best by any bowler with more than 50 wickets in a calendar year).
- His test bowling rating of 922 points in 1983 is 3rd best ever after 932 S.F. Barnes(1914) and 931 G.A. Lohmann(1896)
- 3000 runs and 300 wickets in 75 Test next only to Botham 72 Tests.3rd in fast bowling contest at Perth 1978 after Thomson and Holding
- Overall captaincy record 48 test 14 won 8 lost.
His peak time was from January 1980 to December 1988 and was the best all_rounder at that time, average diff of 21.99 was 10 more than nearest rival Richard Hadlee. During this period he was the best bowler scalping 236 wickets at an average of 17.77 better than Marshall, Hadlee, and Garner.
- Test 1980 to 1988: 48 match 2028 runs 39.76 avg 236 wickets 17.77 avg
- ODI 1981 to 1989 122 match 2651 runs 33.98 avg 142 wickets 22.96 avg
Based on average difference as parameter he is 3rd in the all-time list of all_rounders with Sobers at top closely followed by Kallis. While leading the side in test matches his batting average drastically increase to 52.34 with 5 centuries. on the other hand, he scalped 187 wickets most by any captain at a remarkable average of 20.26 and strike rate of 49.2.in ODI’s he picked 131 wickets at an average of 29.01 and in batting he amassed 3247 runs at an average of 34.91.
- Test : 88 match 3807 runs 37.69 avg 362 wickets 22.81 avg
- ODI : 175 match 3709 runs 33.41 avg 182 wickets 26.61 avg