As Pakistan election looms, Imran Khan is on the verge of his greatest victory: Times UK Article on Imran Khan

In Kotli, a city in Kashmir under the shadow of the Himalayas, Imran Khan walked to the front of the stage. The 20,000-strong crowd had already surged forward as one, crushing the wooden fence before them, shouting “Imran Khan, Zindabad!”— “Long Live Imran Khan!” Imran stood there looking out over the multitude, right arm raised in defiance, red and green silk ribbons on his wrist, set against his black shalwar kameez fluttering in the breeze. It was an arresting image of a proud, strong and determined man.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fa7f065c2-8c28-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


That was a scene witnessed during a week spent on the road, as Imran began the long campaign leading to next week’s general election. I followed him to Kashmir and the tribal heartlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, watching him drum up support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the political party he founded 22 years ago. Now that fervour could be about to make Pakistan’s former cricket captain its new prime minister.
Elements of his story are very well known. We remember the great all-rounder, the playboy, the marriage to Jemima Goldsmith and the triumphant captain, who lifted the World Cup against England on a balmy night in Melbourne 26 years ago. Unlike many great sportsmen, though, he has put the past completely behind him, devoting himself initially to a philanthropic drive to set up a cancer hospital in memory of his mother, and then to a long struggle in the political wilderness.


He will discover next week whether his moment has come at last. His populist, nationalist and anti-corruption message — a Pakistan version of draining the swamp — attracts a disparate, and many feel irreconcilable, army of voters, appealing to young, urban Pakistanis as well as religious conservatives. The message is of its time, mirroring the rise of many current outsider politicians.

The most recent polls suggest a tight contest between Imran’s party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has been destabilised by the ousting of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges after the publication of the Panama Papers and pressure from the military and judiciary combined. Recently Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were given jail sentences, a vindication of Imran’s anti-corruption message. Imran has never been closer to the political power he craves.

Not many great sportsmen are successful in their second lives, especially in politics where the need to compromise goes against a sportsman’s natural, individualist tendencies. Imran was no ordinary sportsman, though. As well as being a great all-rounder, he was a charismatic leader who inspired fierce loyalty. Great sport requires an absolute dedication, which means that many struggle to adapt to an existence beyond it, but for Imran the key was shutting the door firmly on his life in cricket and moving on.

“My philosophy of life is never to look back. I never have nostalgia. The day I left cricket it was over for me. I believe that if you look back, you can’t move forward. My life now is far more interesting than it was in the past, that’s why I don’t remember it,” he said, when I pressed him to reflect on his playboy days in county cricket. Nevertheless, you cannot understand Imran without looking back: to his Pashtun bloodlines, to his upbringing in Lahore, and to his life as a leader in cricket.

The house where he now lives, a villa in 40 acres in the hills above Islamabad, reeks of masculinity and is filled with reminders of his Pashtun heritage. The atmosphere is also one of quiet contemplation, with tropical-like gardens surrounding the property, providing seclusion and privacy away from the bustle of city life and daily politics. The villa is only really visible from the air.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3303df14-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


Imran with Diana, Princess of Wales, and his then wife Jemima at the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital in 1997
Three old hunting rifles lined the fireplace. There were pictures of him hunting with northern tribesmen and there was a huge jagged-edged, curved ceremonial dagger from supporters in Waziristan. There was little cricket memorabilia other than a framed picture of him in full flow as a bowler — an inscribed gift — and a black and white photograph of a team from the 1930s in Jullundur, the family’s ancestral home, with 11 players named Khan, all relatives, including Jahangir, who played for India and fathered Majid, the great Pakistan batsman who was Imran’s uncle.



These Pashtun tribal bloodlines are the key to understanding Imran’s character. His father’s family, the Niazi clan, were Pashtun, as were his mother’s, the Burkis. Pride, integrity, honour, independence and revenge, if necessary, are deeply ingrained.“Yes, honour and pride, and secondly this idea of revenge which is also upholding your pride and your honour. So it’s actually in the code of honour of Pashtuns and even though our families had settled in India, they still lived the Pashtun way.” His father was a patriot with a strong work ethic, but Imran’s sporting genes came from his mother’s side, which produced countless first-class cricketers and three captains
of Pakistan.

Imran was born just five years after independence and in the same month that Pakistan became a Test-playing nation. “I remember growing up with this great feeling of optimism. My mother used to tell me, ‘you don’t know what it’s like not to be born in a free country. We grew up in a colonial India.’ So we were constantly reminded of this. Any little achievement that happened, the whole country took pride in. For instance, we won our first Test match in England and it was the sense of pride, a country looking for its identity.

“Economically, it was one of the fastest growing countries in the third world. There was a book written in the mid-Sixties by a Swedish Nobel prize winner, Gunnar Myrdal. He made out that Pakistan could become the California of Asia. Our universities were international standard and our hospitals were good. So yes, we had this real feeling of confidence, until things started going wrong in the Seventies and Eighties.”

As the country turned inwards, the fortunes of the cricket team improved under Imran. Three moments could sum up his leadership qualities. First, he dropped Majid Khan, his cousin and hero, in one of his early Tests in charge, sending a message that patronage would play no part in selection, only merit. Second, he declared on Javed Miandad in a Test match in 1983, when the batsman was 20 runs shy of a triple hundred, showing that the team and the not the individual was paramount. Third was his uncompromising message on the eve of a final in Sharjah when he was told that the bookies were active. He warned his players that any underperformance would see them not only banished from the team, but also jailed.

He is still regarded as the finest captain of Pakistan, someone who was born to lead. “I can’t say whether leaders are born or made but I do think that some people do well under responsibility, while others collapse. A leader should be able to take pressure, because when the chips are down the team looks at the leader. Cricket is the only sport that needs such leadership, as in other sports the coach is the main thing. In cricket, a coach can never replace a captain.

“Integrity is important. You don’t get respect from your team if they don’t trust you. Passion is what really lifts you above the others. Two people with equivalent talent, the one with passion will go higher than the other one, because passion makes hard work easy. And courage: the ability to withstand pressure, to take big decisions.”

The team looked to him at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 1992, and standing on the podium afterwards with the World Cup in his hands represented the high point of a great career. His speech that night, when he dedicated his winnings to the cancer hospital that would carry his mother’s name, gave a clue that his post-playing career would be anything but typical.

It was during the process of fundraising in the years following his mother’s death in 1985 that his political ambitions and spiritual awareness were aroused. He discovered the disadvantages in healthcare treatment for ordinary Pakistanis, the endemic corruption in public life, and the unwillingness of the elite to donate to his cause.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3de11514-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


The World Cup-winning cricket captain in 1992

“I thought of all these rich people I knew, the school I went to, the elite of Pakistan, and I got no response from them. In the end, I was forced to go to the streets, and I did a six-week campaign in the bazaars with a box collecting money and it was the common people who helped me.
“I think a crisis in your life leads to going inside yourself, soul-searching as they call it. I was going from success to success, and suddenly had this big crisis, because I was very close to my mother, and it was seeing the pain she suffered in the last six weeks of her existence. It was this feeling of helplessness, that was the idea behind the hospital.”

The achievement of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, which opened in 1994, and his subsequent political journey, give an insight into a side of Imran’s character that has not always been appreciated. As a result of his upbringing in the plush surrounds of Zaman Park, his attending Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, and his time in county cricket when he became tabloid fodder in Tramp nightclub with a host of high society girlfriends, the image painted of him in England was of a rich dilettante.

The resilience required of a top-class sportsman was ignored. Since his playing days, it is this characteristic that has been to the fore. Nineteen of the 20 leading doctors he gathered in Lahore to discuss the proposals for his hospital said he couldn’t do it. After it was built, they said it couldn’t offer free healthcare. More than two decades on, it remains the foremost cancer hospital and research centre in Pakistan, welcoming 11,000 new cancer patients in 2015, three-quarters of whom received free treatment. It is a remarkable institution and a testament to Imran’s vision, leadership and perseverance.

Politics was harder still. With limited funds and little organisation, he aimed to break what was essentially a two-party system, and he was dismissed as a joker for a long time. Elections came and went, as did military and civilian governments, and Imran struggled on, his party’s sole representative in parliament after winning the seat of Mianwali in 2002. The war on terror, and the misery that resulted, meant Imran’s anti-American and anti-corruption rhetoric finally began to be heard.

The turning point came on October 30, 2011, when more than 100,000 people turned up to an election rally in Lahore. Two years later, in an election he claimed was deeply rigged, his party returned 35 seats, polled over seven million votes and landed a governing coalition role in the northerly province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After years of struggle and ridicule, the perseverance had begun to pay off: Imran the politician had arrived.
His greatest triumph now is that when he is on the road, his supporters see a politician bringing hope rather than a World Cup-winning captain living off past achievements. His political movement has been a bottom-up effort, helped by social rather than traditional media: his party has three and a half million followers on Twitter (Imran’s personal account has more than twice as many), and close to six million on Facebook.

I don’t know whether he will win this time or whether a PTI victory would be good for Pakistan. Since I spent time with him in 2016, concerns have been expressed that he has become too close to the military establishment (“I will carry the army with me,” he has said) and that he has compromised his values by courting the support of the influential dynastic families, who carry votes with them almost along feudal lines. Nor has he spoken out against the recent crackdown on dissent and on the freedom of the press. There is a worry that the disparate factions of his support base, the young, urban Pakistanis and religious conservatives, will be impossible to reconcile if he wins power.

Nevertheless, given the literacy rates (only 58 per cent), the fact that a third of the population live below the poverty line, and the $30 billion trade deficit, it is hard to see how things could get much worse. One thing is certain: a man close to power in one of the world’s most strategically important and fragile countries cannot be ignored.In any case, my interest is in observing something that you rarely see in former sportsmen: someone who is totally engaged and committed to a new life. I asked how long he would continue: “A mission has no time frame. It’s a struggle and actually there is a lot of satisfaction in the struggle. In cricketing terms, you struggle, you train, you work hard and then you win a tournament, you know, there’s a special feeling of satisfaction. Similarly, when I saw these crowds after 15 years of struggle, it gave me the greatest satisfaction.”
With political ambition comes danger,

too. Up on the border with Afghanistan I had cause to wonder about our safety; did he? “My children not being with me has been probably my greatest pain, but at the same time it has liberated me from fear, because I basically don’t care. There are so many different ways of dying. Years ago I sat in the cancer hospital when it opened and I saw healthy people, three of my friends, walk in, six months later they were gone, so I think I’ve lost the fear of dying.”A final image comes to mind. Hours before his speech in Kotli, I had turned up to his villa in the early morning and had to sit and wait while he rehearsed his speech. As the morning sun warmed the air, up and down the garden he marched, repeating his lines as he went. He still looked in magnificent shape and, while he has long put his sporting career behind him, it was impossible not to still see some of the characteristics — the physical prowess and the determination — that made him such a great cricketer.

After he had finished his rehearsal, he suggested that total belief, a characteristic common to every great sportsman, remains. “In anything you do in life, you have to believe that you’re going to win. You can’t think, what if I don’t win? My mind doesn’t work that way, I believe I’m going to win and it’s a matter of time. One day I’m going to win.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-the-pakistan-election-looms-imran-khan-is-on-verge-of-his-greatest-victory-88t8hm92m
 
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Steyn

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
I love Imran Khan but i don't think he is going to win or at least by majority.

I just saw news about election fraud, a family had 16 members added to them! and in another city, ballot papers were stamped for PPP!.

On top of that, half the country is voting for the convicted criminal Nawaz Sharif, add some fraudulent votes and you can see why i don't think IK is going to win.

Unless Allah's help comes down and by some miracle he wins. He isn't going to win, it's going to be a repeat of 2013, maybe i am a cynical.
 

mskhan

Minister (2k+ posts)
In Kotli, a city in Kashmir under the shadow of the Himalayas, Imran Khan walked to the front of the stage. The 20,000-strong crowd had already surged forward as one, crushing the wooden fence before them, shouting “Imran Khan, Zindabad!”— “Long Live Imran Khan!” Imran stood there looking out over the multitude, right arm raised in defiance, red and green silk ribbons on his wrist, set against his black shalwar kameez fluttering in the breeze. It was an arresting image of a proud, strong and determined man.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fa7f065c2-8c28-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


That was a scene witnessed during a week spent on the road, as Imran began the long campaign leading to next week’s general election. I followed him to Kashmir and the tribal heartlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, watching him drum up support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the political party he founded 22 years ago. Now that fervour could be about to make Pakistan’s former cricket captain its new prime minister.
Elements of his story are very well known. We remember the great all-rounder, the playboy, the marriage to Jemima Goldsmith and the triumphant captain, who lifted the World Cup against England on a balmy night in Melbourne 26 years ago. Unlike many great sportsmen, though, he has put the past completely behind him, devoting himself initially to a philanthropic drive to set up a cancer hospital in memory of his mother, and then to a long struggle in the political wilderness.


He will discover next week whether his moment has come at last. His populist, nationalist and anti-corruption message — a Pakistan version of draining the swamp — attracts a disparate, and many feel irreconcilable, army of voters, appealing to young, urban Pakistanis as well as religious conservatives. The message is of its time, mirroring the rise of many current outsider politicians.

The most recent polls suggest a tight contest between Imran’s party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has been destabilised by the ousting of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges after the publication of the Panama Papers and pressure from the military and judiciary combined. Recently Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were given jail sentences, a vindication of Imran’s anti-corruption message. Imran has never been closer to the political power he craves.

Not many great sportsmen are successful in their second lives, especially in politics where the need to compromise goes against a sportsman’s natural, individualist tendencies. Imran was no ordinary sportsman, though. As well as being a great all-rounder, he was a charismatic leader who inspired fierce loyalty. Great sport requires an absolute dedication, which means that many struggle to adapt to an existence beyond it, but for Imran the key was shutting the door firmly on his life in cricket and moving on.

“My philosophy of life is never to look back. I never have nostalgia. The day I left cricket it was over for me. I believe that if you look back, you can’t move forward. My life now is far more interesting than it was in the past, that’s why I don’t remember it,” he said, when I pressed him to reflect on his playboy days in county cricket. Nevertheless, you cannot understand Imran without looking back: to his Pashtun bloodlines, to his upbringing in Lahore, and to his life as a leader in cricket.

The house where he now lives, a villa in 40 acres in the hills above Islamabad, reeks of masculinity and is filled with reminders of his Pashtun heritage. The atmosphere is also one of quiet contemplation, with tropical-like gardens surrounding the property, providing seclusion and privacy away from the bustle of city life and daily politics. The villa is only really visible from the air.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3303df14-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


Imran with Diana, Princess of Wales, and his then wife Jemima at the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital in 1997
Three old hunting rifles lined the fireplace. There were pictures of him hunting with northern tribesmen and there was a huge jagged-edged, curved ceremonial dagger from supporters in Waziristan. There was little cricket memorabilia other than a framed picture of him in full flow as a bowler — an inscribed gift — and a black and white photograph of a team from the 1930s in Jullundur, the family’s ancestral home, with 11 players named Khan, all relatives, including Jahangir, who played for India and fathered Majid, the great Pakistan batsman who was Imran’s uncle.



These Pashtun tribal bloodlines are the key to understanding Imran’s character. His father’s family, the Niazi clan, were Pashtun, as were his mother’s, the Burkis. Pride, integrity, honour, independence and revenge, if necessary, are deeply ingrained.“Yes, honour and pride, and secondly this idea of revenge which is also upholding your pride and your honour. So it’s actually in the code of honour of Pashtuns and even though our families had settled in India, they still lived the Pashtun way.” His father was a patriot with a strong work ethic, but Imran’s sporting genes came from his mother’s side, which produced countless first-class cricketers and three captains
of Pakistan.

Imran was born just five years after independence and in the same month that Pakistan became a Test-playing nation. “I remember growing up with this great feeling of optimism. My mother used to tell me, ‘you don’t know what it’s like not to be born in a free country. We grew up in a colonial India.’ So we were constantly reminded of this. Any little achievement that happened, the whole country took pride in. For instance, we won our first Test match in England and it was the sense of pride, a country looking for its identity.

“Economically, it was one of the fastest growing countries in the third world. There was a book written in the mid-Sixties by a Swedish Nobel prize winner, Gunnar Myrdal. He made out that Pakistan could become the California of Asia. Our universities were international standard and our hospitals were good. So yes, we had this real feeling of confidence, until things started going wrong in the Seventies and Eighties.”

As the country turned inwards, the fortunes of the cricket team improved under Imran. Three moments could sum up his leadership qualities. First, he dropped Majid Khan, his cousin and hero, in one of his early Tests in charge, sending a message that patronage would play no part in selection, only merit. Second, he declared on Javed Miandad in a Test match in 1983, when the batsman was 20 runs shy of a triple hundred, showing that the team and the not the individual was paramount. Third was his uncompromising message on the eve of a final in Sharjah when he was told that the bookies were active. He warned his players that any underperformance would see them not only banished from the team, but also jailed.

He is still regarded as the finest captain of Pakistan, someone who was born to lead. “I can’t say whether leaders are born or made but I do think that some people do well under responsibility, while others collapse. A leader should be able to take pressure, because when the chips are down the team looks at the leader. Cricket is the only sport that needs such leadership, as in other sports the coach is the main thing. In cricket, a coach can never replace a captain.

“Integrity is important. You don’t get respect from your team if they don’t trust you. Passion is what really lifts you above the others. Two people with equivalent talent, the one with passion will go higher than the other one, because passion makes hard work easy. And courage: the ability to withstand pressure, to take big decisions.”

The team looked to him at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 1992, and standing on the podium afterwards with the World Cup in his hands represented the high point of a great career. His speech that night, when he dedicated his winnings to the cancer hospital that would carry his mother’s name, gave a clue that his post-playing career would be anything but typical.

It was during the process of fundraising in the years following his mother’s death in 1985 that his political ambitions and spiritual awareness were aroused. He discovered the disadvantages in healthcare treatment for ordinary Pakistanis, the endemic corruption in public life, and the unwillingness of the elite to donate to his cause.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3de11514-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


The World Cup-winning cricket captain in 1992

“I thought of all these rich people I knew, the school I went to, the elite of Pakistan, and I got no response from them. In the end, I was forced to go to the streets, and I did a six-week campaign in the bazaars with a box collecting money and it was the common people who helped me.
“I think a crisis in your life leads to going inside yourself, soul-searching as they call it. I was going from success to success, and suddenly had this big crisis, because I was very close to my mother, and it was seeing the pain she suffered in the last six weeks of her existence. It was this feeling of helplessness, that was the idea behind the hospital.”

The achievement of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, which opened in 1994, and his subsequent political journey, give an insight into a side of Imran’s character that has not always been appreciated. As a result of his upbringing in the plush surrounds of Zaman Park, his attending Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, and his time in county cricket when he became tabloid fodder in Tramp nightclub with a host of high society girlfriends, the image painted of him in England was of a rich dilettante.

The resilience required of a top-class sportsman was ignored. Since his playing days, it is this characteristic that has been to the fore. Nineteen of the 20 leading doctors he gathered in Lahore to discuss the proposals for his hospital said he couldn’t do it. After it was built, they said it couldn’t offer free healthcare. More than two decades on, it remains the foremost cancer hospital and research centre in Pakistan, welcoming 11,000 new cancer patients in 2015, three-quarters of whom received free treatment. It is a remarkable institution and a testament to Imran’s vision, leadership and perseverance.

Politics was harder still. With limited funds and little organisation, he aimed to break what was essentially a two-party system, and he was dismissed as a joker for a long time. Elections came and went, as did military and civilian governments, and Imran struggled on, his party’s sole representative in parliament after winning the seat of Mianwali in 2002. The war on terror, and the misery that resulted, meant Imran’s anti-American and anti-corruption rhetoric finally began to be heard.

The turning point came on October 30, 2011, when more than 100,000 people turned up to an election rally in Lahore. Two years later, in an election he claimed was deeply rigged, his party returned 35 seats, polled over seven million votes and landed a governing coalition role in the northerly province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After years of struggle and ridicule, the perseverance had begun to pay off: Imran the politician had arrived.
His greatest triumph now is that when he is on the road, his supporters see a politician bringing hope rather than a World Cup-winning captain living off past achievements. His political movement has been a bottom-up effort, helped by social rather than traditional media: his party has three and a half million followers on Twitter (Imran’s personal account has more than twice as many), and close to six million on Facebook.

I don’t know whether he will win this time or whether a PTI victory would be good for Pakistan. Since I spent time with him in 2016, concerns have been expressed that he has become too close to the military establishment (“I will carry the army with me,” he has said) and that he has compromised his values by courting the support of the influential dynastic families, who carry votes with them almost along feudal lines. Nor has he spoken out against the recent crackdown on dissent and on the freedom of the press. There is a worry that the disparate factions of his support base, the young, urban Pakistanis and religious conservatives, will be impossible to reconcile if he wins power.

Nevertheless, given the literacy rates (only 58 per cent), the fact that a third of the population live below the poverty line, and the $30 billion trade deficit, it is hard to see how things could get much worse. One thing is certain: a man close to power in one of the world’s most strategically important and fragile countries cannot be ignored.In any case, my interest is in observing something that you rarely see in former sportsmen: someone who is totally engaged and committed to a new life. I asked how long he would continue: “A mission has no time frame. It’s a struggle and actually there is a lot of satisfaction in the struggle. In cricketing terms, you struggle, you train, you work hard and then you win a tournament, you know, there’s a special feeling of satisfaction. Similarly, when I saw these crowds after 15 years of struggle, it gave me the greatest satisfaction.”
With political ambition comes danger,

too. Up on the border with Afghanistan I had cause to wonder about our safety; did he? “My children not being with me has been probably my greatest pain, but at the same time it has liberated me from fear, because I basically don’t care. There are so many different ways of dying. Years ago I sat in the cancer hospital when it opened and I saw healthy people, three of my friends, walk in, six months later they were gone, so I think I’ve lost the fear of dying.”A final image comes to mind. Hours before his speech in Kotli, I had turned up to his villa in the early morning and had to sit and wait while he rehearsed his speech. As the morning sun warmed the air, up and down the garden he marched, repeating his lines as he went. He still looked in magnificent shape and, while he has long put his sporting career behind him, it was impossible not to still see some of the characteristics — the physical prowess and the determination — that made him such a great cricketer.

After he had finished his rehearsal, he suggested that total belief, a characteristic common to every great sportsman, remains. “In anything you do in life, you have to believe that you’re going to win. You can’t think, what if I don’t win? My mind doesn’t work that way, I believe I’m going to win and it’s a matter of time. One day I’m going to win.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-the-pakistan-election-looms-imran-khan-is-on-verge-of-his-greatest-victory-88t8hm92m
In Sha Allah
 

mskhan

Minister (2k+ posts)
I love Imran Khan but i don't think he is going to win or at least by majority.

I just saw news about election fraud, a family had 16 members added to them! and in another city, ballot papers were stamped for PPP!.

On top of that, half the country is voting for the convicted criminal Nawaz Sharif, add some fraudulent votes and you can see why i don't think IK is going to win.

Unless Allah's help comes down and by some miracle he wins. He isn't going to win, it's going to be a repeat of 2013, maybe i am a cynical.
We should expect that, but I think despite that, In Sha Allah PTI will be victorious
 

mskhan

Minister (2k+ posts)
In Kotli, a city in Kashmir under the shadow of the Himalayas, Imran Khan walked to the front of the stage. The 20,000-strong crowd had already surged forward as one, crushing the wooden fence before them, shouting “Imran Khan, Zindabad!”— “Long Live Imran Khan!” Imran stood there looking out over the multitude, right arm raised in defiance, red and green silk ribbons on his wrist, set against his black shalwar kameez fluttering in the breeze. It was an arresting image of a proud, strong and determined man.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fa7f065c2-8c28-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


That was a scene witnessed during a week spent on the road, as Imran began the long campaign leading to next week’s general election. I followed him to Kashmir and the tribal heartlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, watching him drum up support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the political party he founded 22 years ago. Now that fervour could be about to make Pakistan’s former cricket captain its new prime minister.
Elements of his story are very well known. We remember the great all-rounder, the playboy, the marriage to Jemima Goldsmith and the triumphant captain, who lifted the World Cup against England on a balmy night in Melbourne 26 years ago. Unlike many great sportsmen, though, he has put the past completely behind him, devoting himself initially to a philanthropic drive to set up a cancer hospital in memory of his mother, and then to a long struggle in the political wilderness.


He will discover next week whether his moment has come at last. His populist, nationalist and anti-corruption message — a Pakistan version of draining the swamp — attracts a disparate, and many feel irreconcilable, army of voters, appealing to young, urban Pakistanis as well as religious conservatives. The message is of its time, mirroring the rise of many current outsider politicians.

The most recent polls suggest a tight contest between Imran’s party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has been destabilised by the ousting of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges after the publication of the Panama Papers and pressure from the military and judiciary combined. Recently Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were given jail sentences, a vindication of Imran’s anti-corruption message. Imran has never been closer to the political power he craves.

Not many great sportsmen are successful in their second lives, especially in politics where the need to compromise goes against a sportsman’s natural, individualist tendencies. Imran was no ordinary sportsman, though. As well as being a great all-rounder, he was a charismatic leader who inspired fierce loyalty. Great sport requires an absolute dedication, which means that many struggle to adapt to an existence beyond it, but for Imran the key was shutting the door firmly on his life in cricket and moving on.

“My philosophy of life is never to look back. I never have nostalgia. The day I left cricket it was over for me. I believe that if you look back, you can’t move forward. My life now is far more interesting than it was in the past, that’s why I don’t remember it,” he said, when I pressed him to reflect on his playboy days in county cricket. Nevertheless, you cannot understand Imran without looking back: to his Pashtun bloodlines, to his upbringing in Lahore, and to his life as a leader in cricket.

The house where he now lives, a villa in 40 acres in the hills above Islamabad, reeks of masculinity and is filled with reminders of his Pashtun heritage. The atmosphere is also one of quiet contemplation, with tropical-like gardens surrounding the property, providing seclusion and privacy away from the bustle of city life and daily politics. The villa is only really visible from the air.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3303df14-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


Imran with Diana, Princess of Wales, and his then wife Jemima at the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital in 1997
Three old hunting rifles lined the fireplace. There were pictures of him hunting with northern tribesmen and there was a huge jagged-edged, curved ceremonial dagger from supporters in Waziristan. There was little cricket memorabilia other than a framed picture of him in full flow as a bowler — an inscribed gift — and a black and white photograph of a team from the 1930s in Jullundur, the family’s ancestral home, with 11 players named Khan, all relatives, including Jahangir, who played for India and fathered Majid, the great Pakistan batsman who was Imran’s uncle.



These Pashtun tribal bloodlines are the key to understanding Imran’s character. His father’s family, the Niazi clan, were Pashtun, as were his mother’s, the Burkis. Pride, integrity, honour, independence and revenge, if necessary, are deeply ingrained.“Yes, honour and pride, and secondly this idea of revenge which is also upholding your pride and your honour. So it’s actually in the code of honour of Pashtuns and even though our families had settled in India, they still lived the Pashtun way.” His father was a patriot with a strong work ethic, but Imran’s sporting genes came from his mother’s side, which produced countless first-class cricketers and three captains
of Pakistan.

Imran was born just five years after independence and in the same month that Pakistan became a Test-playing nation. “I remember growing up with this great feeling of optimism. My mother used to tell me, ‘you don’t know what it’s like not to be born in a free country. We grew up in a colonial India.’ So we were constantly reminded of this. Any little achievement that happened, the whole country took pride in. For instance, we won our first Test match in England and it was the sense of pride, a country looking for its identity.

“Economically, it was one of the fastest growing countries in the third world. There was a book written in the mid-Sixties by a Swedish Nobel prize winner, Gunnar Myrdal. He made out that Pakistan could become the California of Asia. Our universities were international standard and our hospitals were good. So yes, we had this real feeling of confidence, until things started going wrong in the Seventies and Eighties.”

As the country turned inwards, the fortunes of the cricket team improved under Imran. Three moments could sum up his leadership qualities. First, he dropped Majid Khan, his cousin and hero, in one of his early Tests in charge, sending a message that patronage would play no part in selection, only merit. Second, he declared on Javed Miandad in a Test match in 1983, when the batsman was 20 runs shy of a triple hundred, showing that the team and the not the individual was paramount. Third was his uncompromising message on the eve of a final in Sharjah when he was told that the bookies were active. He warned his players that any underperformance would see them not only banished from the team, but also jailed.

He is still regarded as the finest captain of Pakistan, someone who was born to lead. “I can’t say whether leaders are born or made but I do think that some people do well under responsibility, while others collapse. A leader should be able to take pressure, because when the chips are down the team looks at the leader. Cricket is the only sport that needs such leadership, as in other sports the coach is the main thing. In cricket, a coach can never replace a captain.

“Integrity is important. You don’t get respect from your team if they don’t trust you. Passion is what really lifts you above the others. Two people with equivalent talent, the one with passion will go higher than the other one, because passion makes hard work easy. And courage: the ability to withstand pressure, to take big decisions.”

The team looked to him at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 1992, and standing on the podium afterwards with the World Cup in his hands represented the high point of a great career. His speech that night, when he dedicated his winnings to the cancer hospital that would carry his mother’s name, gave a clue that his post-playing career would be anything but typical.

It was during the process of fundraising in the years following his mother’s death in 1985 that his political ambitions and spiritual awareness were aroused. He discovered the disadvantages in healthcare treatment for ordinary Pakistanis, the endemic corruption in public life, and the unwillingness of the elite to donate to his cause.

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3de11514-8ac0-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


The World Cup-winning cricket captain in 1992

“I thought of all these rich people I knew, the school I went to, the elite of Pakistan, and I got no response from them. In the end, I was forced to go to the streets, and I did a six-week campaign in the bazaars with a box collecting money and it was the common people who helped me.
“I think a crisis in your life leads to going inside yourself, soul-searching as they call it. I was going from success to success, and suddenly had this big crisis, because I was very close to my mother, and it was seeing the pain she suffered in the last six weeks of her existence. It was this feeling of helplessness, that was the idea behind the hospital.”

The achievement of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, which opened in 1994, and his subsequent political journey, give an insight into a side of Imran’s character that has not always been appreciated. As a result of his upbringing in the plush surrounds of Zaman Park, his attending Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, and his time in county cricket when he became tabloid fodder in Tramp nightclub with a host of high society girlfriends, the image painted of him in England was of a rich dilettante.

The resilience required of a top-class sportsman was ignored. Since his playing days, it is this characteristic that has been to the fore. Nineteen of the 20 leading doctors he gathered in Lahore to discuss the proposals for his hospital said he couldn’t do it. After it was built, they said it couldn’t offer free healthcare. More than two decades on, it remains the foremost cancer hospital and research centre in Pakistan, welcoming 11,000 new cancer patients in 2015, three-quarters of whom received free treatment. It is a remarkable institution and a testament to Imran’s vision, leadership and perseverance.

Politics was harder still. With limited funds and little organisation, he aimed to break what was essentially a two-party system, and he was dismissed as a joker for a long time. Elections came and went, as did military and civilian governments, and Imran struggled on, his party’s sole representative in parliament after winning the seat of Mianwali in 2002. The war on terror, and the misery that resulted, meant Imran’s anti-American and anti-corruption rhetoric finally began to be heard.

The turning point came on October 30, 2011, when more than 100,000 people turned up to an election rally in Lahore. Two years later, in an election he claimed was deeply rigged, his party returned 35 seats, polled over seven million votes and landed a governing coalition role in the northerly province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After years of struggle and ridicule, the perseverance had begun to pay off: Imran the politician had arrived.
His greatest triumph now is that when he is on the road, his supporters see a politician bringing hope rather than a World Cup-winning captain living off past achievements. His political movement has been a bottom-up effort, helped by social rather than traditional media: his party has three and a half million followers on Twitter (Imran’s personal account has more than twice as many), and close to six million on Facebook.

I don’t know whether he will win this time or whether a PTI victory would be good for Pakistan. Since I spent time with him in 2016, concerns have been expressed that he has become too close to the military establishment (“I will carry the army with me,” he has said) and that he has compromised his values by courting the support of the influential dynastic families, who carry votes with them almost along feudal lines. Nor has he spoken out against the recent crackdown on dissent and on the freedom of the press. There is a worry that the disparate factions of his support base, the young, urban Pakistanis and religious conservatives, will be impossible to reconcile if he wins power.

Nevertheless, given the literacy rates (only 58 per cent), the fact that a third of the population live below the poverty line, and the $30 billion trade deficit, it is hard to see how things could get much worse. One thing is certain: a man close to power in one of the world’s most strategically important and fragile countries cannot be ignored.In any case, my interest is in observing something that you rarely see in former sportsmen: someone who is totally engaged and committed to a new life. I asked how long he would continue: “A mission has no time frame. It’s a struggle and actually there is a lot of satisfaction in the struggle. In cricketing terms, you struggle, you train, you work hard and then you win a tournament, you know, there’s a special feeling of satisfaction. Similarly, when I saw these crowds after 15 years of struggle, it gave me the greatest satisfaction.”
With political ambition comes danger,

too. Up on the border with Afghanistan I had cause to wonder about our safety; did he? “My children not being with me has been probably my greatest pain, but at the same time it has liberated me from fear, because I basically don’t care. There are so many different ways of dying. Years ago I sat in the cancer hospital when it opened and I saw healthy people, three of my friends, walk in, six months later they were gone, so I think I’ve lost the fear of dying.”A final image comes to mind. Hours before his speech in Kotli, I had turned up to his villa in the early morning and had to sit and wait while he rehearsed his speech. As the morning sun warmed the air, up and down the garden he marched, repeating his lines as he went. He still looked in magnificent shape and, while he has long put his sporting career behind him, it was impossible not to still see some of the characteristics — the physical prowess and the determination — that made him such a great cricketer.

After he had finished his rehearsal, he suggested that total belief, a characteristic common to every great sportsman, remains. “In anything you do in life, you have to believe that you’re going to win. You can’t think, what if I don’t win? My mind doesn’t work that way, I believe I’m going to win and it’s a matter of time. One day I’m going to win.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-the-pakistan-election-looms-imran-khan-is-on-verge-of-his-greatest-victory-88t8hm92m
Love Imran Khan, he is an incredible man
 

thinking

Prime Minister (20k+ posts)
I love Imran Khan but i don't think he is going to win or at least by majority.

I just saw news about election fraud, a family had 16 members added to them! and in another city, ballot papers were stamped for PPP!.

On top of that, half the country is voting for the convicted criminal Nawaz Sharif, add some fraudulent votes and you can see why i don't think IK is going to win.

Unless Allah's help comes down and by some miracle he wins. He isn't going to win, it's going to be a repeat of 2013, maybe i am a cynical.


Pakistan is on going to eliminate Shareef.. Zardari.Altaf..Molvi Diesel.Asfand..Achakzae Mafias..So this is not easy..these type of minor things can be expecting.
 

kashy28

MPA (400+ posts)
PTI looks strong only in KP where it may win the majority of seats,it faces a stiff competition from PML N in Punjab and from the PPP in Sindh so it is not easy for PTI to get a majority to form the federal govt.If the establishment rigs the elections in its favour then it is a different matter
 

digitalzygot1

Minister (2k+ posts)
IK Niazi sahih naar ka bacha hay. Have always fought for Pakistan in sports and on numerous international forums. He's fighting criminal corrupt mafia of shareefs and zardaris/Bhuttos who have ruled for decades and have destroyed everything from policing to education to judiciary to health...economy. He can't fix over 60years mess in 5 years but it will be a good start. Long live Pakistan..long live IK
 

farooqak

Minister (2k+ posts)
I love Imran Khan but i don't think he is going to win or at least by majority.

I just saw news about election fraud, a family had 16 members added to them! and in another city, ballot papers were stamped for PPP!.

On top of that, half the country is voting for the convicted criminal Nawaz Sharif, add some fraudulent votes and you can see why i don't think IK is going to win.

Unless Allah's help comes down and by some miracle he wins. He isn't going to win, it's going to be a repeat of 2013, maybe i am a cynical.

Don't expect illiterate people to vote for the right man
the only way he can win is if ISI support him...i have no hope from this illiterate nation..nothing can change their thinking
 

Chairman

MPA (400+ posts)
Pakistanis overall are the stupidest nation of the world, they could come up with the weirdest opinion in the end !!
 

Scholar1

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
My Comments: Request you to Ignore the paid and Fake Pakistani surveys by PLMN which will show that Nawaz Sharif is still popular..
methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fa7f065c2-8c28-11e8-9b4b-d04c94d077dc.jpg


In Kotli, a city in Kashmir under the shadow of the Himalayas, Imran Khan walked to the front of the stage. The 20,000-strong crowd had already surged forward as one, crushing the wooden fence before them, shouting “Imran Khan, Zindabad!”— “Long Live Imran Khan!” Imran stood there looking out over the multitude, right arm raised in defiance, red and green silk ribbons on his wrist, set against his black shalwar kameez fluttering in the breeze. It was an arresting image of a proud, strong and determined man.

That was a scene witnessed during a week spent on the road, as Imran began the long campaign leading to next week’s general election. I followed him to Kashmir and the tribal heartlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, watching him drum up support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the political party he founded 22 years ago. Now that fervour could be about to make Pakistan’s former cricket captain its new prime minister.

Elements of his story are very well known. We remember the great all-rounder, the playboy, the marriage to Jemima Goldsmith and the triumphant captain, who lifted the World Cup against England on a balmy night in Melbourne 26 years ago. Unlike many great sportsmen, though, he has put the past completely behind him, devoting himself initially to a philanthropic drive to set up a cancer hospital in memory of his mother, and then to a long struggle in the political wilderness.

He will discover next week whether his moment has come at last. His populist, nationalist and anti-corruption message — a Pakistan version of draining the swamp — attracts a disparate, and many feel irreconcilable, army of voters, appealing to young, urban Pakistanis as well as religious conservatives. The message is of its time, mirroring the rise of many current outsider politicians.

The most recent polls suggest a tight contest between Imran’s party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has been destabilised by the ousting of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges after the publication of the Panama Papers and pressure from the military and judiciary combined. Recently Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were given jail sentences, a vindication of Imran’s anti-corruption message. Imran has never been closer to the political power he craves.

Not many great sportsmen are successful in their second lives, especially in politics where the need to compromise goes against a sportsman’s natural, individualist tendencies. Imran was no ordinary sportsman, though. As well as being a great all-rounder, he was a charismatic leader who inspired fierce loyalty. Great sport requires an absolute dedication, which means that many struggle to adapt to an existence beyond it, but for Imran the key was shutting the door firmly on his life in cricket and moving on.

“My philosophy of life is never to look back. I never have nostalgia. The day I left cricket it was over for me. I believe that if you look back, you can’t move forward. My life now is far more interesting than it was in the past, that’s why I don’t remember it,” he said, when I pressed him to reflect on his playboy days in county cricket. Nevertheless, you cannot understand Imran without looking back: to his Pashtun bloodlines, to his upbringing in Lahore, and to his life as a leader in cricket.

The house where he now lives, a villa in 40 acres in the hills above Islamabad, reeks of masculinity and is filled with reminders of his Pashtun heritage. The atmosphere is also one of quiet contemplation, with tropical-like gardens surrounding the property, providing seclusion and privacy away from the bustle of city life and daily politics. The villa is only really visible from the air.

Three old hunting rifles lined the fireplace. There were pictures of him hunting with northern tribesmen and there was a huge jagged-edged, curved ceremonial dagger from supporters in Waziristan. There was little cricket memorabilia other than a framed picture of him in full flow as a bowler — an inscribed gift — and a black and white photograph of a team from the 1930s in Jullundur, the family’s ancestral home, with 11 players named Khan, all relatives, including Jahangir, who played for India and fathered Majid, the great Pakistan batsman who was Imran’s uncle.

These Pashtun tribal bloodlines are the key to understanding Imran’s character. His father’s family, the Niazi clan, were Pashtun, as were his mother’s, the Burkis. Pride, integrity, honour, independence and revenge, if necessary, are deeply ingrained.

“Yes, honour and pride, and secondly this idea of revenge which is also upholding your pride and your honour. So it’s actually in the code of honour of Pashtuns and even though our families had settled in India, they still lived the Pashtun way.” His father was a patriot with a strong work ethic, but Imran’s sporting genes came from his mother’s side, which produced countless first-class cricketers and three captains
of Pakistan.


Imran was born just five years after independence and in the same month that Pakistan became a Test-playing nation. “I remember growing up with this great feeling of optimism. My mother used to tell me, ‘you don’t know what it’s like not to be born in a free country. We grew up in a colonial India.’ So we were constantly reminded of this. Any little achievement that happened, the whole country took pride in. For instance, we won our first Test match in England and it was the sense of pride, a country looking for its identity.

“Economically, it was one of the fastest growing countries in the third world. There was a book written in the mid-Sixties by a Swedish Nobel prize winner, Gunnar Myrdal. He made out that Pakistan could become the California of Asia. Our universities were international standard and our hospitals were good. So yes, we had this real feeling of confidence, until things started going wrong in the Seventies and Eighties.”

As the country turned inwards, the fortunes of the cricket team improved under Imran. Three moments could sum up his leadership qualities. First, he dropped Majid Khan, his cousin and hero, in one of his early Tests in charge, sending a message that patronage would play no part in selection, only merit. Second, he declared on Javed Miandad in a Test match in 1983, when the batsman was 20 runs shy of a triple hundred, showing that the team and the not the individual was paramount. Third was his uncompromising message on the eve of a final in Sharjah when he was told that the bookies were active. He warned his players that any underperformance would see them not only banished from the team, but also jailed.

He is still regarded as the finest captain of Pakistan, someone who was born to lead. “I can’t say whether leaders are born or made but I do think that some people do well under responsibility, while others collapse. A leader should be able to take pressure, because when the chips are down the team looks at the leader. Cricket is the only sport that needs such leadership, as in other sports the coach is the main thing. In cricket, a coach can never replace a captain.

“Integrity is important. You don’t get respect from your team if they don’t trust you. Passion is what really lifts you above the others. Two people with equivalent talent, the one with passion will go higher than the other one, because passion makes hard work easy. And courage: the ability to withstand pressure, to take big decisions.”

The team looked to him at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 1992, and standing on the podium afterwards with the World Cup in his hands represented the high point of a great career. His speech that night, when he dedicated his winnings to the cancer hospital that would carry his mother’s name, gave a clue that his post-playing career would be anything but typical.

It was during the process of fundraising in the years following his mother’s death in 1985 that his political ambitions and spiritual awareness were aroused. He discovered the disadvantages in healthcare treatment for ordinary Pakistanis, the endemic corruption in public life, and the unwillingness of the elite to donate to his cause.

“I thought of all these rich people I knew, the school I went to, the elite of Pakistan, and I got no response from them. In the end, I was forced to go to the streets, and I did a six-week campaign in the bazaars with a box collecting money and it was the common people who helped me.

“I think a crisis in your life leads to going inside yourself, soul-searching as they call it. I was going from success to success, and suddenly had this big crisis, because I was very close to my mother, and it was seeing the pain she suffered in the last six weeks of her existence. It was this feeling of helplessness, that was the idea behind the hospital.”

The achievement of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, which opened in 1994, and his subsequent political journey, give an insight into a side of Imran’s character that has not always been appreciated. As a result of his upbringing in the plush surrounds of Zaman Park, his attending Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, and his time in county cricket when he became tabloid fodder in Tramp nightclub with a host of high society girlfriends, the image painted of him in England was of a rich dilettante.

The resilience required of a top-class sportsman was ignored. Since his playing days, it is this characteristic that has been to the fore. Nineteen of the 20 leading doctors he gathered in Lahore to discuss the proposals for his hospital said he couldn’t do it. After it was built, they said it couldn’t offer free healthcare. More than two decades on, it remains the foremost cancer hospital and research centre in Pakistan, welcoming 11,000 new cancer patients in 2015, three-quarters of whom received free treatment. It is a remarkable institution and a testament to Imran’s vision, leadership and perseverance.

Politics was harder still. With limited funds and little organisation, he aimed to break what was essentially a two-party system, and he was dismissed as a joker for a long time. Elections came and went, as did military and civilian governments, and Imran struggled on, his party’s sole representative in parliament after winning the seat of Mianwali in 2002. The war on terror, and the misery that resulted, meant Imran’s anti-American and anti-corruption rhetoric finally began to be heard.

The turning point came on October 30, 2011, when more than 100,000 people turned up to an election rally in Lahore. Two years later, in an election he claimed was deeply rigged, his party returned 35 seats, polled over seven million votes and landed a governing coalition role in the northerly province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After years of struggle and ridicule, the perseverance had begun to pay off: Imran the politician had arrived.

His greatest triumph now is that when he is on the road, his supporters see a politician bringing hope rather than a World Cup-winning captain living off past achievements. His political movement has been a bottom-up effort, helped by social rather than traditional media: his party has three and a half million followers on Twitter (Imran’s personal account has more than twice as many), and close to six million on Facebook.

I don’t know whether he will win this time or whether a PTI victory would be good for Pakistan. Since I spent time with him in 2016, concerns have been expressed that he has become too close to the military establishment (“I will carry the army with me,” he has said) and that he has compromised his values by courting the support of the influential dynastic families, who carry votes with them almost along feudal lines. Nor has he spoken out against the recent crackdown on dissent and on the freedom of the press. There is a worry that the disparate factions of his support base, the young, urban Pakistanis and religious conservatives, will be impossible to reconcile if he wins power.

Nevertheless, given the literacy rates (only 58 per cent), the fact that a third of the population live below the poverty line, and the $30 billion trade deficit, it is hard to see how things could get much worse. One thing is certain: a man close to power in one of the world’s most strategically important and fragile countries cannot be ignored.


In any case, my interest is in observing something that you rarely see in former sportsmen: someone who is totally engaged and committed to a new life. I asked how long he would continue: “A mission has no time frame. It’s a struggle and actually there is a lot of satisfaction in the struggle. In cricketing terms, you struggle, you train, you work hard and then you win a tournament, you know, there’s a special feeling of satisfaction. Similarly, when I saw these crowds after 15 years of struggle, it gave me the greatest satisfaction.”

With political ambition comes danger, too. Up on the border with Afghanistan I had cause to wonder about our safety; did he? “My children not being with me has been probably my greatest pain, but at the same time it has liberated me from fear, because I basically don’t care. There are so many different ways of dying. Years ago I sat in the cancer hospital when it opened and I saw healthy people, three of my friends, walk in, six months later they were gone, so I think I’ve lost the fear of dying.”

A final image comes to mind. Hours before his speech in Kotli, I had turned up to his villa in the early morning and had to sit and wait while he rehearsed his speech. As the morning sun warmed the air, up and down the garden he marched, repeating his lines as he went. He still looked in magnificent shape and, while he has long put his sporting career behind him, it was impossible not to still see some of the characteristics — the physical prowess and the determination — that made him such a great cricketer.

After he had finished his rehearsal, he suggested that total belief, a characteristic common to every great sportsman, remains. “In anything you do in life, you have to believe that you’re going to win. You can’t think, what if I don’t win? My mind doesn’t work that way, I believe I’m going to win and it’s a matter of time. One day I’m going to win.”


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a...134e88c9d6389#
 
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