Wasim Akram urges PCB to apologise for Imran snub in tribute video

Wasim Akram urges PCB to apologise for Imran snub in tribute video

Cricket legend Wasim Akram has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to apologise and delete its August 14 video that paid homage to country’s cricketing legends and milestones but made almost no mention of Imran Khan — the cricketer-turned-politician under whose leadership Pakistan won its sole ODI World Cup in 1992.

The tribute video, posted on the country’s 77th Independence Day (Monday), was widely criticised on social media and earned the PCB a ton of flak — contrary to what it was supposed to do.

When asked by Dawn Images about Imran’s erasure, the PCB — which is currently run by PPP’s Zaka Ashraf — said it had “no comment”.

Akram, arguably the greatest among an entire generation of cricketers who blossomed under the tutelage of Imran, also expressed his displeasure over the snub.

In a post on his X (formerly Twitter) account, Akram stated that he got the “shock of his life” after watching the video “minus the great Imran Khan”.

“Political differences apart but Imran Khan is an icon of world cricket and developed Pakistan into a strong unit in his time and gave us a pathway,” he added.

“PCB should delete the video and apologise.”

Separately, former fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who announced his retirement from international cricket earlier today, addressed a question during his press conference regarding Imran’s omission from the PCB video. Additionally, he was also asked whether he felt compelled to refrain from commenting on the issue.

Riaz responded, “No, not at all. Let me make it clear that I’m not restricted by anything. It’s important to note that we grew up watching the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Our cricketing aspirations were molded by looking up to them.”

He went on to emphasise, “We cannot overlook the significance of the 1992 World Cup and its captain. His status as a cricketer will endure. We idealised him and I believe the young generation will also hold him as an ideal figure.”

After facing two days of intense backlash, the PCB finally deleted the video and uploaded a newer version that did include Imran and credited him for the World Cup triumph.

The previous version was “abridged and some important clips were missing,” it acknowledged.

Following his retirement from cricket in 1992, Imran turned to politics — a journey that climaxed in 2018 with him becoming the country’s prime minister as well as the PCB’s patron-in-chief.

He was, however, ousted from the top office in 2022 and has since embattled a series of legal troubles — one of which was the Toshakhana case wherein he was found “guilty of corrupt practices”, sentenced to three years in prison and subsequently disqualified from holding a public office for five years.

He is currently incarcerated in Attock Jail.

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