Cricket legend Wasim Akram has publicly called upon the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to issue an apology and remove their August 14 tribute video. This video, intended to pay homage to Pakistan’s cricketing milestones and legends, notably overlooked the pivotal role of Imran Khan. As the cricketer-turned-politician who led Pakistan to its sole ODI World Cup victory in 1992, Imran Khan’s absence from the tribute generated significant backlash on social media.
The video’s release on Pakistan’s 77th Independence Day triggered widespread criticism for disregarding Imran Khan’s contributions to the nation’s cricket history. Wasim Akram, who flourished as a cricketer under Imran’s mentorship, voiced his disappointment over this omission. He emphasized that beyond political differences, Imran remains an iconic figure in world cricket, transforming Pakistan into a formidable cricketing unit during his tenure as both player and captain.
In a post shared on his social media account, Akram expressed his shock at the video’s absence of the “great Imran Khan.” He highlighted Imran’s role in shaping Pakistan’s cricketing pathway and called for the PCB to remove the video and extend an apology for the oversight.
After long flights and hours of transit before reaching Sri Lanka, I got the shock of my life when I watched PCB’s short clip on the history of Pakistan cricket minus the great Imran Khan… political differences apart but Imran Khan is an icon of world cricket and developed…
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) August 16, 2023
Former fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who recently retired from international cricket, also addressed the issue during his press conference. He underscored the enduring significance of the 1992 World Cup and its captain, Imran Khan. Riaz remarked that Imran, along with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, played an instrumental role in shaping their cricketing aspirations. He emphasized that the impact of Imran’s leadership and cricketing legacy would resonate with the younger generation as well.
Following intense backlash, the PCB eventually removed the controversial video and released an updated version that acknowledged Imran Khan’s role and credited him for Pakistan’s World Cup triumph. The board admitted that the initial video was abbreviated, omitting crucial segments.
The PCB has launched a promotional campaign leading up to the CWC 2023. One of the videos was uploaded on 14th August 2023. Due to its length, the video was abridged and some important clips were missing. This has been rectified in the complete version of the video ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/Rz2OBDyI9i
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 16, 2023
Imran Khan’s journey from cricket to politics has marked a significant chapter in Pakistan’s history. His ascent to the prime ministership and his role as the PCB’s patron-in-chief further solidified his influence. Despite facing legal challenges and subsequent removal from office, Imran’s status as a cricketing and political figure remains impactful.