As Imran Khan looks favourite for July 25 polls, what’s his ex-cricket colleagues are saying
Islamabad, July 20: With prospects of Imran Khan becoming the next prime minister of Pakistan after the July 25 elections getting brighter, what his former colleagues on the cricket ground have to say about him?
As we know, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supremo is the best-ever cricket captain the poll-bound nation has produced till date and the man, who led Pakistan to its only world cup win in cricket in 1992, is also seen as a godfather to a number of its cricketing talents.
Waqar Younis backs 'skipper' for July 25 elections
Waqar Younis is one of them. The legendary pace bowler and former captain of Pakistan whose talent was spotted by Khan, on Thursday (July 19), pledged to back the PTI chief's slogan for change and build a Naya Pakistan (new Pakistan).
The 46-year-old, who had made his international debut in the same series with Sachin Tendulkar in 1989, said in a tweet that it was time to bring change in Pakistan and wished the "skipper" all the best for the July 25 elections saying they were all behind him.
Khan is at the forefront to become the next premier of Pakistan after the powerful former PM Nawaz Sharif was jailed recently in connection to corruption. His imprisonment has been a major blow to the PML-N, the last ruling party, and with the PPP also not in a great health, the PTI has emerged as the best alternative to rule the country which has been facing problems on various fronts - political, economic and diplomatic.
Javed Miandad hasn't openly taken Imran's name but hoped for a positive change
Former captain Javed Miandad, who played with Khan on several memorable occasions, released a video message ahead of the July 25 elections and although he did not explicitly sought support for Khan, he asked the voters to apply their judgement while casting their ballots and not to fear anybody except God.
In a heart-felt appeal, the 61-one-year-old former Pakistani batsman said it is time to steer Pakistan out of its crisis and ensure a secure future for its upcoming generations. Though he did not name his former colleague, but his emphasis on a positive change for Pakistan could mean that he was also waiting for a fresh force to take over.
Miandad was known for his tense relationship with Khan during the playing days and was pitted as a symbol of 'Karachi lobby' against Khan who was seen as a symbol of the 'Lahore lobby'. However, in September 2014, when Khan's PTI was holding a month-long protest against the then government of Nawaz Sharif in Karachi, Miandad became the first former cricketer to pay a visit to the rally, giving rise to speculation.
Wasim Akram hasn't joined PTI but supports Imran Khan
Another legendary Pakistani cricketer - Wasim Akram - though said earlier this year that he was not joining the PTI but reiterated his support for Khan. Akram, who was a key member of the world cup-winning squad of 1992 and had a mentor in Khan during his playing days, has also been seen endorsing the latter's vision for Namal College to promote education in Pakistan.
However, Khan's critics are of the view that PTI has not significantly succeeded to achieve its objectives in Khyber Pakhtwnkha as the existing economic and social structure in the province is still calling for drastic measures.