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Best Pakistani Cricketers of All-Time

As you likely know, cricket in Pakistan predates the official creation of the country. The first international match in the region that occupies current-day Pakistan got played in 1935 between Australia and Sind, with some five thousand Karachiites in attendance. Though, the reality is that this game was already a Pakistani obsession dating back to the mid-19th century.

Even though hockey gets regarded as the country’s national sport, there is no doubt that cricket gets played by more Pakistanis and is more established as a spectator pastime. A massive portion of the traffic at premium cricket info site Sportsadda comes from what often ranks as South Asia’s most hospitable territory, best known for its varied spices and mangoes. Moreover, Sialkot, a city in Punjab, boasts a reputation for being one of the world’s chief sporting goods hubs. It is a spot where quality top-brand cricket balls get produced.

Thus, cricket and Pakistan share a strong bond, sadly often fueled by nationalistic and religious sentiment. Nevertheless, no one can deny that the country has supplied dramatic contribution to the sport and has churned out some of its best players at both the club and international level. Below, we look at what many fans and experts believe are the best four to come out of Pakistan.

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Bogliari/Unsplash.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan is the current prime minister of Pakistan and proof of just how far cricket’s appeal stretches in this country. The sport is so ingrained in the country’s culture that the former captain of the national cricket team can rise and claim one of, if not the most powerful position in the country. Born in 1952, Kahn has a well-earned reputation as one of cricket’s best all-rounders ever, registering a whopping 3,897 runs and 362 wickets in Test cricket. He led the Pakistani national team to their first and only victory in the Cricket World Cup in 1992 and is an ICC Hall of Fame inductee. He retired from the sport at the age of 39 and dove right into politics.

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram often gets talked about as one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history. He is the record-holder from most wickets in List-A cricket and is one of the founders of reverse swing bowling. ODI ranked him as the best bowler of all time, ahead of names like Glenn McGrath and Joel Graner. In 2009, he took his rightful place in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, and in 2018, he became the president of the Karachi Kings. During his illustrious career, Akram played for clubs like Lahore, Hampshire, and Lancashire.

Shahid Khan Afridi

Afridi has long held the reputation as one of the most popular and destructive cricketers. Undoubtedly, he was one of, if not the sport’s best ODI all-rounder. Nicknamed – Boom Boom, Afridi led the Pakistani national team to a Cricket World Cup semi-final in 2011, where they lost to arch-rival India. However, though no one can argue his athletic talents, he has been the center of many controversies, including ones revolving around ball-tampering and other dirty tactics. Still, Afridi has his name in cricket almanacs, scoring a total of 8,064 runs and boasting the third-highest strike rate in the game’s history.

Javed Miandad

Per most international journalists, Miandad is the greatest batsman to ever come out of Pakistan. According to Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell, Miandad should rank in the top ten best players in his position of all time, despite ESPN’s Legends of Cricket placing him on the 44th spot. Javed gets best remembered by fans for his unique batting technique and impressive control. He was a part of the famous 1992 team, contributing to that ensemble of players bringing Pakistan substantial joy. In 2009, Miandad found his way into the ICC Hall of Fame. He had an ODI batting average of 41.70 and a TEST one of 52.