Memories of cricket with Imran Khan

A GOLDSWORTH Park dry cleaner who played first-class cricket in Pakistan fondly recalls one of the senior players from those times, Imran Khan, who seems almost certain to become the country’s new prime minister.

Aman Ullah, 44, spoke to the News & Mail shortly after Mr Khan’s party became the largest in the National Assembly after elections last week and is likely to lead a coalition government in Islamabad. He and the charismatic former Pakistan cricket captain were both born in Punjab. They met several times and Aman believes Mr Khan will be a good leader.

“He was strict but also helped the poor a lot. He’s a good man, and generous.”

The Woking resident was then a 19-year-old rising star and Mr Khan about to lead the country to world cup victory, against England, having been called out of retirement by President Zia.

Like his hero, Aman was a teenage cricketing prodigy, becoming the top bowler in the national Under-16 and Under-19 sides, with his fast to medium paced deliveries.

“I was talent spotted by UBL and invited to attend their training camp,” he said, speaking from behind the counter at the Beacon House Dry Cleaners in the Goldsworth Park Shopping Centre.

“I vividly remember getting a letter saying ‘here’s a ticket to Karachi, your hotel is booked’. My first season playing professionally for UBL was 1990 and I was the best bowler in the league that year.”

Aman in his Pakistan national team blazer

For the full story, see the 2 August edition

Cap – Aman in his Pakistan national team blazer

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