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I’m driven by a mission: Imran

‘Test cricket needs match-winning bowlers’
EXCLUSIVE
Imran Khan

London: Imran Khan, iconic cricketer-turned-politician, spoke to The Telegraph on Friday evening.

Imran, who is back in Pakistan’s National Assembly, heads the Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party he founded 18 years ago.

Excerpts...

Gracing Day II of the India-England Test at Lord’s...

I can’t remember when I last went to a cricket ground... It was nice making a ‘comeback’... Nice to be back in a Test match environment. As you know, I’m not a T20-type... I went after lunch, with my sons (Sulaiman Isa and Qasim).

Whether cricket was boring...

I wouldn’t say boring. However, unless you have match-winning bowlers, Test cricket can become rather demanding on the spectators. It used to be so different in my time, when just about every team had bowlers capable of running through the opposition... Such bowlers raise the level of excitement.

Prediction...

I can’t say where the Test will go... Depends on who takes the lead and its extent.

Rushed visit to the UK...

That’s because I’m short of time... I came on Thursday and went to Bradford, where I resigned as chancellor of Bradford University. Politics is taking up all my time and, so, I had to give up the chancellorship.

Saturday’s fund-raiser in Manchester...

It’s for the university I’ve established in Mianwali... I’ve already had a fund-raiser, in London, for the August 14 Azaadi March in Islamabad. That was last week.

The Azaadi March...

It’s going to be a peaceful way of demanding a repoll in four constituencies... We have proof of the massive rigging in the last general elections (May 2013)... We have our doubts on 65 constituencies, but we’ve said that if four get cleared, then we won’t make an issue of the remaining 61... Actually, we’ve been crying ourselves hoarse for over a year.

Returning to Pakistan...

On Sunday itself... There’s work to be done for the Azaadi March.

As a gesture it was very nice and was welcomed
ON NARENDRA MODI HAVING INVITED NAWAZ SHARIF TO HIS MAY 26 SWEARING-IN

Narendra Modi becoming India’s Prime Minister...

Look, I’ve taken a wait and watch policy... Let’s see what Modi does... It’s like the captaincy in cricket, unless somebody gets the job, you don’t know how good or bad he’ll be. Same for the Prime Ministership... I wouldn’t like to say anything as yet.

Modi having invited Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to his May 26 swearing-in...

As a gesture it was very nice and was welcomed.

Mood in Pakistan about a BJP-headed government regaining power in India...

There was fear the first time, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister. But, as it turned out, such fears were unfounded... So, let’s see what happens now. I’ve always been for good relations between Pakistan and India. It’s in the interest of both countries to resolve issues.

The last one... Fears over security given that he’s consistently against the Establishment...

(Grins) There’s this saying that if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen... Well, if one is concerned about his security, then he shouldn’t be in politics... The heat doesn’t scare me. I’m driven by a mission and I believe in destiny.