Former Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan was nowhere to be seen in Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) tribute video which commemorated Pakistan’s Independence Day on Monday.
Khan inspired Pakistan to their first and only ODI World Cup triumph but the PCB noticeably left out the skipper that led them to the win.
Often considered one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the game, Khan entered politics after retiring from cricket.
He founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan from 2018 to 2022. After that, he was removed from office after a successful vote of no-confidence in 2022. He has been slapped with some 150 legal cases since his ouster and was arrested in May on corruption charges.
However, the board is under criticism for the last 48 hours as people demanded the PCB to delete the video for not including the star player. Wasim Akram said that he was appalled to learn about it.
“After long flights and hours of transit before reaching Sri Lanka, I got the shock of my life when I watched PCB’s short clip on the history of Pakistan cricket minus the great Imran Khan,” Akram wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
The cricketer noted that despite political differences, one cannot disregard Khan’s contribution to cricket and demanded that the body retract the video and issue an apology.
“…political differences apart but Imran Khan is an icon of world cricket and developed Pakistan into a strong unit in his time and gave us a pathway… PCB should delete the video and apologise,” he added.
Considered one of Pakistan’s greatest captains in history, Khan led the Pakistani side to their only World Cup win in 1992. He has also mentored cricketing greats, including Akram, Waqar Younis, and Moin Khan.
The cricketer-turned-politician is currently behind bars on corruption charges after a court convicted him in the Toshakhana case, sentencing him to three years in prison and later, the election commission disqualified him for five years from running for office.
Khan played 88 Tests and 175 ODIs for Pakistan over the course of his illustrious cricket career.
His averages, 37 with the bat and 22 with the ball, kept him at the top of the quartet of star all-rounders, with Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Kapil Dev being the others, who impressed one and all in Test cricket in the 1980s.
During Khan’s last 10 years of international cricket career, he featured in 51 Tests, averaging a remarkable 50 with the bat and 19 with the ball.
Khan also led Pakistan to their first series victory in England in 1987 but the best moment of his career came when the Men in Gren clinched the 1992 World Cup trophy under his inspirational leadership.