Cricket is being played for over two centuries. Taking the modern era of the game into consideration, players like Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and Shane Warne have all shown their skills, talent and guts which have brought glory for their countries and earned them legendary status in the history of the game. For Pakistan, one individual has uniquely stood out from the long list of winners who has given the cricket-crazy nation a reason to feel proud and also most importantly someone to look up to in moments where one feels down in life. This individual not only brought discipline to a side which was termed as “unruly” but also (and most importantly) gave them the instinct to win. To call him an enigma would be rude; he was and still is a superstar beyond anyone’s thought. Imran Khan Niazi was born just 11 days before Pakistan played its first-ever Test match in Delhi against India in October 1952. India won that match by an innings and was followed by an emphatic and euphoric win by Pakistan, it’s first ever test match win; in the 2nd test match of the series in Lucknow on a ground which is known to be near the Goomti River. Imran Khan was the only son to his parents. He was born in Lahore and spent his childhood in the Zaman Park area. During the mystic and magical winter months of Lahore, the light rays of the sun and the ever so mystic haze (which can be observed and intangibly felt from a distance) must have intrigued and brought an immense sense of calm and satisfaction to an artist’s mind.Imran’s schooling was done at the prestigious Aitchison College in Lahore which has brought up a line of distinguished civil servants and politicians. The curriculum at Aitchison College follows that of Great Britain’s AS/A Level qualification and emphasises along with academics a great deal on sports and extracurricular activities which according to Aitchison plays an immense role in character building of an individual’s life. Students who pass out from Aitchison College often embark upon a journey of higher studies at prestigious universities like Oxford or Cambridge. In Imran’s case, the former was where he proceeded to study philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1975. Imran Khan’s career as a cricketer was nothing less than a soldier expressing vigorous devotion to his country during a battle. He was appointed captain of Pakistan in 1982. Pakistan toured England that year and although the series was won by the hosts, Imran Khan was judged Man of the Series. He was undoubtedly among the finest all-rounders in world cricket at that time and was ranked at the top of the quartet of all-rounders which also included Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and Richard Hadlee. As captain of Pakistan’s cricket team, winning for Imran was not an option; it was a necessity! His intense character, discipline and fitness led the team to emphatic and memorable wins against England and India. It is on record that Imran never lost a test as captain against India. The ultimate goal, however for Imran in his illustrious career was for a cause. Unfortunately, Imran’s mother had to go through the extreme suffering of cancer. Upon seeing such distress, Imran gained an even more humanistic value in himself and decided to build a state of the art cancer and research hospital in Lahore which would provide treatment for the deadly disease free of cost to all those who are less fortunate. Imran knew that the funding for such a mega project would have to come from a very big win. The glory of winning the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup and the manner in which Pakistan won, provided Imran the win to build the cancer hospital.To say Imran Khan is the total package is a thing of the past and very cliché. To say that he was a playboy with his dashing suave handsome looks would also be incorrect as such men have immense time to spare. I think of Imran Khan as a man who used to enjoy spending time alone, reflect upon his present life and confide in people (perhaps the female gender) who would listen to what he has to say and offer their kind affection towards him. In all honesty, he is a leader. In the upcoming general elections Imran Khan could be eyeing on putting himself in the highest office in Pakistan through the vote. During his playing days as captain he had to go through the agonizing pain of cricket administration, player revolts, umpiring bias and the nightmare of match-fixing. All such vices which were a part of Pakistan’s cricket have made him the leader which many in Pakistan love today. His political party is called PTI which stands for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice); but for such a determined man like him it could mean Pakistan To Imran… The author is based in Karachi.