Imran Khan becomes Pakistan’s most popular leader on Twitter366 views
KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has become Pakistan’s most popular leader on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Imran has now 4.03 million followers on Twitter.
He was among Pakistan’s most successful cricket captain, leading Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, playing for the Pakistani cricket team from 1971 to 1992, and serving as its captain intermittently throughout 1982–1992.
In April 1996, Imran founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (“Movement for Justice”) political party and became its chairman.
He was an elected parliamentarian of his native constituency Mianwali in the National Assembly from November 2002 to October 2007, and was again elected during the 11 May 2013 general elections, when his party emerged as the second largest in the country by popular vote.
In a nutshell Imran Khan is indisputably the greatest cricketer to emerge from Pakistan, and arguably the world’s second-best allrounder after Garry Sobers. He took a mediocre side and transformed them into world-beaters, leading them to the World Cup title in 1992.
Few would dispute that Imran was the finest cricketer Pakistan has produced, or the biggest heartthrob. Suave, erudite and monstrously talented, he gave cricket in the subcontinent real sex appeal in the 1970s and 1980s. As such he and TV completed the popularisation of the game in his country which Hanif Mohammad and the radio had begun. Thousands, if not millions, who had never dreamt of bowling fast on heartless baked mud suddenly wanted to emulate Imran and his lithe bounding run, his leap and his reverse-swinging yorker. He also made himself into an allrounder worth a place for his batting alone, and captained Pakistan as well as anyone, rounding off his career with the 1992 World Cup. He played hardly any domestic cricket in Pakistan: instead he just flew in for home series from Worcestershire or Sussex, or rather from the more fashionable London salons. His averages (37 with the bat, 22 with the ball) put him at the top of the quartet of allrounders (Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Kapil Dev being the others) who dominated Test cricket in the 1980s. And whereas Botham declined steadily, Imran just got better and better: in his last 10 years of international cricket he played 51 Tests, averaging a sensational 50 with the bat and 19 with the ball. He gave no quarter during some memorable battles with West Indies – Pakistan drew three series with them at a time when everybody else was being bounced out of sight – and he led Pakistan to their first series victory in England in 1987, taking 10 for 77 with an imperious display in the decisive victory at Headingley. After retirement he remained a high-profile figure, with his marriage – and subsequent split with – the socialite Jemima Goldsmith and a move into the labyrinthine world of Pakistan politics.