Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE
|Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE became the first Pakistani origin British to play professional cricket in England. He was a talented left-handed batsman who also bowled right arm medium pace. His family originated from Kashmir and came to England in the 1960s with a dream of a better life.|
Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE (born 26 February 1971) became the first Pakistani origin British to play professional cricket in England. He was a talented left-handed batsman who also bowled right arm medium pace. His family originated from Kashmir and came to England in the 1960s with a dream of a better life. Khan was born inBirmingham, attended Somerville Primary school and then went onto Oldknow secondary school (later to become Small Heath School). At the age of 12 he displayed a remarkable passion and talent for cricket and it was through sheer luck that his talent was discovered in the playground by a cricket mad teacher, Pete Bolland. Later that year in 1983, he was selected for the Warwickshire Under 13's team where his potential as a leader was spotted very early, resulting in him being awarded the captaincy. Khan was the only state school boy in that team. His determination to succeed was evidenced by the fact that despite having never played hard ball cricket before, he top scored in his first year. Khan only had one dream and that was to make it at the highest grade and play professional cricket. As a young boy, he would find ways to get into Edgbaston to watch Warwickshire play and vowed to his friends that one day, he too would be out there.
He played first class cricket for the record breaking double winning Warwickshire team in 1995, averaging 49 in the championship winning team. He also gained a NatWest winners medal. He represented England U19's.
Khan is now seen as one of the most important men in English cricket (voted 11th out of 50 in a recent magazine – 2012), leading the Cricket Foundation's £50 million Chance to Shine campaign as the CEO. The campaign aims to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools. His autobiography Brim Full of Passion was voted Wisden Book of the Year 2007. In it he says "it's not often in life that you get to do something that stirs your very soul". Since launching in 2005, Chance to Shine has reached over 1.8 million children across 6,500 schools and has raised close to £40 million. He also sits on the Equality & Human Rights Commission Sports Group, The Prince's Trust Cricket Group and has recently been appointed onto the England Cricket Board's Anti-Corruption and Security Unitand also has various mentoring roles with kids from inner city areas. Khan ran two London marathons for Chance to Shine, in 2007 & 2010 and raised £10,000. He is also an accomplished and very impressive speaker.
- Warwickshire most improved youngster (1995).
- County Championship winner, with Warwickshire (1995)
- NatWest Trophy winner, with Warwickshire (1995)
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to cricket and the community.