Arguably one of the best all-around cricket players in the history of the sport, skilled at both batting and bowling, Khan dominated the pitch in the 1970s and ’80s. His glowing career culminated in a World Cup win for Pakistan in 1992, in which he told his team to “fight like cornered tigers,” sporting T-shirts of the animal as a symbol of his tenacity.
He swung between life in conservative Pakistan and the liberal West, and was a flamboyant celebrity whose romances often made headlines. His nine-year marriage to — and divorce from — British socialite Jemima Goldsmith was widely reported on.
In a nation obsessed with cricket, Khan has cleverly engineered his legendary status to transition into a career in politics. And after some two decades of political life, Khan on Thursday declared victory in the nation’s elections — though the vote count is continuing and there is a chance of a hung parliament. Nonetheless, he portrayed the preliminary results as a dream come true.
The 65-year-old has swapped his former reputation as a playboy for one as a serious politician and devout Muslim, promising the Pakistani people he would reform the country and clamp down on corruption, a scourge that affects every aspect of public life in Pakistan.
“Corruption is eating away at this country like cancer. There’s one law here and there’s one law out there. We will set…