Imran KHAN

Imran Khan - Pakistan - Test Cricket Profile 1971 - 1992.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 19 July 1982

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      Right Arm Fast, Right Hand Bat
      Tuesday, 25 November 1952
      Lahore, Pakistan
  • Pakistan
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Imran KHAN - Pakistan - Test Cricket Profile 1971 - 1992.

Few would have predicted that Imran Khan would have become one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He did it by sheer willpower, reckoning it was the only way he would become a force in Test cricket. When he first played with Pakistan in 1971, while a student at Oxford University, he was just above medium pace with pretensions to batting. The transformation came in Australia in 1976-77, when he came sprinting in off a long run, leaped into the crease, hammered his front foot down and found he could generate real pace. He took 5-122 in the Melbourne Test on that tour, then 6-102 and 6-63 at Sydney. During Pakistan's tour of the West Indies in 1976-77 he had 25 wickets in three Tests and started to score some useful runs as well.


He took 14 wickets against India in the first series between the warring neighbours for many years. In the return series he took 5-114 at Madras then 4-67 and 5-63 in the Calcutta Test. He began to get big scores with 123 against West Indies at Lahore in 1980-81. He also took 5-62 in the Multan Test. In Australia in 1981-82 he took 15 wickets in three Tests and scored 70 not out in Melbourne. Imran took 8-58 and 6-58 against Sri Lanka at Lahore, then inherited the Pakistan captaincy for the 1982 tour of England when he took 5-49 at Headingley. He played in the 1975 World Cup, taking 3-15 against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge and was in the Pakistan team that reached the semi-final in 1979. (Bob Harragan)



 Imran Khan bowling on 2nd. July 1987. Photo G.H. ©

"Fight like wounded tigers!" That was Imran's famous battle-cry when he urged the Pakistan side on to victory in the 1992 World Cup. By then he was far more than an ordinary cricket captain. Pakistan only functioned as a team with the Great Khan in charge and he was brought out of retirement for a second time for his last great campaign. His great pace had gone, so he took the responsibility as a batsman, batting at number three and scoring 44 in the semi-final and 72 in the final. He also took the last England wicket to fall in the final, that of Richard Illingworth. It was a measure of Imran's move from cricketer to statesman that he dedicated the World Cup win to his campaign to build a cancer hospital in Pakistan. For much of his captaincy career Imran continued to lead the attack.


He took 8-60 at Karachi against India in 1982-83, when Pakistan won by an innings and 6-99 and 5-82 in a 10 wicket victory at Faisalabad. Injury forced him to play as a batsman in a 1984-85 series in Australia and he scored 83 and 72 not out at Melbourne. Imran led Pakistan in Sri Lanka in the mid 1980s and against West Indies at home when he took 5-59 in Lahore and 6-46 in Karachi. He scored 135 against India at Madras in 1986-87, in England in 1987 he took 7-40 at Headingley, 6-129 at Edgbaston and scored 118 at the Oval. He made 109 not out against India at Karachi in 1989-90, 136 at Adelaide soon after and 93 not out against Sri Lanka at Sialkot in 1991-92. In the 1987 World Cup he took Pakistan to the semi-final, where they were beaten by Australia in Lahore, despite Imran's 58 and 3-36. (Bob Harragan)