THE EDITOR: “I soon recognised that the most important part of captaincy was team selection – rather like a prime minister choosing a cabinet” – from the book All Round View by Imran Khan, published 1988.
It was a day I would always remember, March 4, 1977, the opening day of the second Test match between the West Indies and Pakistan at the Queen’s Park Oval.
I was seated in the lower deck of the Constantine Stand on the western side of the ground.
Scores of fans, including many attractive women, were clamouring for Imran Khan’s autograph, as the Pakistani cricketers were warming up on the field before the start of the Test.
(For the record, fast bowler Colin Croft bagged 8-29 in Pakistan’s first innings as the West Indies won the match by six wickets, Khan’s bowling figures in the match were: 45 overs, 13 maidens, 109 runs, five wickets).
He was only 24 at that time, but the debonair Khan was already the cynosure of the cricketing world.
Fast forward to 2018 – 41 years later – and a legendary cricketer, now 65, is on the verge of becoming the prime minister of his beleaguered country.
At Melbourne in 1992, he captained Pakistan to victory over England in the World Cup finals – the greatest moment in Pakistan’s sporting history.
He played 88 Tests for his country, 48 as captain for a team that comprises ten other members. Should the charismatic Khan become PM, he would need to captain and carry the weight and expectations of 200 million people who are desperately yearning for a true leader to usher in a new dawn of politics.
It was the American politician William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) who once said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, it is a thing to be achieved.”
REZA ABASALI, El Socorro