Canada''s Cheema a fan of Imran Khan

Hambantota, Sri Lanka, Feb 20 (AFP) SwashbucklingCanadian batsman Rizwan Cheema said Sunday he is a huge fan ofPakistan great Imran Khan, setting his sights on emulating theWorld Cup-winning skipper.

Imran, who lifted the World Cup for Pakistan in 1992, wasone of the world''s top all-rounders in a golden era alongsideIan Botham of England, India''s Kapil Dev and Richard Hadlee ofNew Zealand.

After retiring from cricket Imran went into politics andheads his own Tehrik-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party inPakistan.

"The only hero in my life is Imran, since I was born. Ihave met him but a very basic interaction. His captaincy,approach to the game and the way he presents himself,"Pakistan-born Cheema said.

"Whenever I watch him on television and the way hespeaks, I am enamoured and want to emulate him if I ever get achance," said Cheema, who admitted Canada could not competewith cricket''s big guns at the World Cup.

"We are just working hard for almost a year now preparingfor this event," said Cheema about the Canada team, playingtheir fourth World Cup.

"Hopefully we will do well and look forward to it, tryingto win at least three games and that is our goal.

Realistically, we''re not going to win the World Cup but we aretrying to make sure we reach the second round," he said.

Cheema hit the headlines even before the tournamentstarted, with a quickfire 93 against England in a warm-upmatch last week before England squeaked home by 16 runs.

"It was great to be among the runs. It would have beeneven nicer had we beaten England, but I did what I like themost -- hit the ball out of the park," said Cheema, who hasplayed 21 one-day internationals for his adopted country.

Cheema said freezing weather was an impediment toCanada''s preparations for major cricket events, limitingchances to play outdoors.

Cheema said he was aiming to reach three figures againstthe country of his birth.

"I want to score a hundred, maybe against Pakistan inthis World Cup," said Cheema, whose team faces Pakistan inColombo on March 3. (AFP) PDS

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