Cricketer - Nov., 1993.
Question: What was life after cricket been like? Aren't you
missing the e***ment which is such an integral part of a
Answer: No, not at all, there's so much else to do in life.
Cricket was just a part of it. In fact, when I look back, crick-
et seems so distant.
Question: Why didn't you play in the Indo-Pak matches you had
organized in England for the cancer hospital?
Answer: I no longer feel the urge to go out there and play.
You know since the World Cup final (March 1992) I've lifted
a bat only twice. That too was more a case of putting in an ap-
pearance than playing seriously. I've not been to the
nets...nothing...and I've not missed it at all.
Question: So cricket has not left a void in your life?
Answer: Honestly, no. I told you there's so much else to do
in life. Like, I'm so occupied with the cancer hospital.
Question: Pakistani supporters disrupted the recent match at the
Crystal Palace and it had to be abandoned. Since you were organ-
izing the match what was your reaction to the whole thing?
Answer: I'm still so disgusted. I was very angry and upset.
After all, people must understand that it is a cricket match, and
not a war that is going on out there. Anyway, I won't take
another chance. I've decided henceforth I won't organize another
Indo-Pak tie in England, or for that matter, anywhere in the
Question: Last year almost the same thing had happened, at Brad-
ford. The Indians were in a winning position and then the Pakis-
tani supporters created so much chaos that the organizers had no
choice but to abandon the match. Why did not you learn from past
experience? Why wasn't the security beefed up for the Crystal
Answer: Of course, security was strengthened. This time we
paid much more for the security keeping last year's experience
in mind. But now I've realized, people who come only to create
problems and not watch the match, will continue to create
problems. You can't stop them. So I've decided not to have
Question: When are you opening your cancer hospital?
Answer: We had planned to begin in December. But due to unavoid-
able circumstances we have had to keep on postponing the date.
Now we plan to open on the 23rd of March, 1994.
Question: How much have you raised for the hospital till date?
Answer: Five million dollars. And to start off we need another
Question: How can you hope to raise the rest by the third week
of March, 1994? There's hardly any time left.
Answer: You can't. Though I will keep on trying very hard.
I'll go for another round of fund-raising programme in the US
and elsewhere. Eventually, I guess, we will have to go in for
Question: You've raised money in various parts of Europe, in
West Asia, in the US, in South Africa. Why haven't you come to
India? You still have a large captive Indian audience who would
definitely have helped?
Answer: You see, there are people who might not like it. The
situation now is bad, that one voice here or there can rake off
a controversy. Supposing I came and then someone said, why
should the Hindus contribute for a hospital in Pakistan? It
could snowball into a very bitter situation. Why go into it?
And then it's easy to comply with to exchange regu- lations
elsewhere. For instance, our trust is registered in the US. It
would be easier getting the money back to Pakistan.
Question: If reports are to be believed, your fund-raising pro-
gramme in South Africa did not take off. Why was that?
Answer: Because the South African Board sabotaged the fund-
raising programme. I felt completely let down by Ali Bacher.
He did not help me one bit. This was the same gentleman who
once approached me to go and play in South Africa and I had
declined. In the past, he had made so many PR calls calls to my
London residence, for promoting their case in the ICC through
the Pakistan Board. Imagine, the same person declined to give us
permission to play friendly matches.
We were organizing matches between my XI and Clive Rice's XI.
Incidentally, Clive Rice's mother had also died of cancer. But
Ali Bacher put his foot down. His argument was that he could not
have anything before the Indian tour. Now that was silly. Tell
me, how would a few friendly matches between an Imran Xi and Rice
XI have affected the Indian tour? No way, and we were only rais-
ing money for a noble cause.
Question: When you had started off the hospital project, many
thought you were being crazy. And then people came up with alle-
gations that the hospital would never be built and that you had
ulterior motives. Now do you feel, come March, and you will have
a point to prove?
Answer: No, no. I'm not concerned with proving a point to
my detractors. That is too trivial an issue. What I am dealing
with is a matter of much greater significance. If you can
save cancer patients, if you can give them the best facilities,
the best services, that would be much more fulfilling, that
is my criteria at the moment. I don't worry about who said that.
Question: Okay, let me put it this way. From a glorious World
Cup victory to nearing the end of a dream project. Where does
Imran Khan go from there?
Answer: Well, merely opening the hospital gates won't mean
anything to me. You'll have to provide service of the highes
quality. It should be a dream institute! And to ensure
that, you got to keep on working hard for another four or five
years. Then maybe you can think of another goal.
Question: Indians will be welcome to come across the border and
Answer: Of course. My philosophy in life is that I believe in
humanity. For me, national boundaries are just mere geographical
boundaries. Nothing more. I look at it this way, God is for
manking, not just X, Y or a Z nation. Any Indian would be
welcome here. For that matter I've sent quite a few Pakistanis
to the Tata Cancer Research Institute in Bombay. If tomorrow,
the Indian Cancer Research Society asks for any kind of help,
then Imran Khan is ready. At the end of the day if you can-
not serve humanity, then your record or personal achievements
Question: Almost every year we get to read you are getting mar-
ried to so and it never happens. If you've decided not to marry
why don't you openly say it? If nothing else, the unnecessary
speculation will stop now.
Answer: Look, I donot have any plans of getting married now. But
it's not that I've taken a final decision not to marry. I d
on't know the answer myself. Maybe I'll marry, maybe I won't!
Question: Your detractor in the press claim, you've been using
your post as advisor to the Board of Control for Crickt in Pakis-
tan with a vengeance. According to them, you had plotted Javed
Miandad's ouster from the Pakistan captaincy?
Answer: How stupid! See, I'm so occupied with the cancer hos-
pital project that I hardly find any time for the job. If I
had time, I would've sat down with the Board and chalked out as
to how we can change the domestic cricket structure in our
country. The domestic structure is so bad here in Pakistan.
As for removing Miandad, let me tell you, I had no role to
play. The Board was already contemplating a change and they
sought my advice as to who could be the fittest? I had suggested
Wasim's name, yes. But by then, the Board had decided to go in
for a new skipper. So how can I be blamed?
Question: Are you happy the way Akram has led so far?
Answer: Yes. I think, he is doing a decent job.