26th of July 2018 will now go down as a historic date for the people of Pakistan as they were announced with a new Prime Minister who promised a “Naya Pakistan” to the nation. Imran Khan won the prime ministerial elections by popular demand with the nation going into euphoria yet again, as it did when he led the Pakistan team to win the World Cup in 1992.
Imran Khan has been known for his charismatic leadership over his illustrious Cricket career, but what separated him from most of the top leaders of the world was his unmatched aura, and one such incident emphasized it even more. The final of the 92 Benson and Hedges Cup (now known as the World Cup) was being held in Melbourne-Australia. England captain Graham Gooch, and presenter Ian Chappel were on the ground for the toss. But what caught the eye of the entire world was Pakistan’s skipper, who walked into the toss of a World Cup Final with green tracks and a white t-shirt of a “tiger” printed on it. The Pakistani great seemed to enjoy the build up to the final as he was seen waving his arms while waiting for the coin flip, ever so casually.
The Pakistani great won the toss and elected to bat. On being asked by Chappel what was the ideology behind wearing an imprinted tiger shirt during the toss, Imran famously quoted. “That’s the motto, and they’ve (the team) done a great job, especially the younger boys, they haven’t been overwrought by any situation and if they play like tigers, I don’t mind if we win or lose today.”
The presence and the statement of arguably the best all rounder of his time was enough to intimidate the English captain.
Pakistan had started off their World cup campaign in disappointing manner as they had won just the one game against Zimbabwe out of their opening five, out of which the one match versus England was washed off due to rain which earned them a lucky point as they were bundled out for just 74. It was followed by defeats to India and South Africa respectively. But Imran being the leader that he was made sure to keep the young Wasims and Waqars motivated by repeatedly reminding that they had in them to be World Champions.
Imran’s men re-announced themselves to the world stage by beating the mighty Aussies, followed by Sri Lanka, and table toppers New Zealand which helped them edge past Australia by a point. A motivated Pakistani team beat an in-form New Zealand team once again, and this time in a semi final.
It was the ideology of the 544 wicket taker in International cricket to lead the team with an injured shoulder, bit with an iron fist. Khan was way past his prime, but the team needed a leader more than ever, and that is exactly what they got in the sense of a man who made them reach the pinnacle of World Cricket.
Similarly after years of being in the news for the wrong reasons, the country as a whole was in need of a leader who could think of the entire nation as one community and work towards peace.
As the great Ian chapel said after the toss, “ You’ve been a great ornament to the game” . The Pakistani crowd expect the same “ornament “ to do wonders for them in the field of global prosperity.
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.