DateLine: 16th December 2009
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan will give the tenth MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's next year, organisers announced here Tuesday.
Imran will become the first Pakistani to deliver the lecture.
Previous speakers include Geoffrey Boycott, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu and, most recently, Adam Gilchrist.
Imran's address, on July 19, is due to take place two days after the scheduled conclusion of the Pakistan-Australia Test match at Lord's - the north-west London ground owned by MCC.
MCC president John Barclay, who played alongside Imran at English county Sussex in the 1970s and 1980s, said: "Imran was an inspired cricketer.
"He was never short of opinions and rarely was he reluctant to hold back.
"We will be in for a treat on July 19 when Imran will display the depth of his knowledge and breadth of his experience."
Imran, a formidable fast bowler, is arguably Pakistan's greatest cricketer and widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders ever to play the game.
In a 21-year Test career he scored six centuries, averaging 37.69 and took 362 wickets at 22.8 apiece.
His figures for the last decade of his career were even more impressive with Imran, in 51 Tests, averaging 50 with the bat and just 19 with the ball.
For much of that time Imran was leading Pakistan, captaining them in 48 of his 88 Tests, including the country's first series win in England in 1987.
He initially retired from international cricket that year but returned, as captain in 1988 and in 1992 led Pakistan to the World Cup title, scoring 72 and taking the last wicket as they beat England in the final in Melbourne.
Since retiring completely from cricket, Imran has established a cancer hospital in Lahore in memory of his late mother and pursued a career in politics as the founder of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party.
Last month the 56-year-old underwent surgery for an intestinal blockage but has since been reported to be making a good recovery.
The Cowdrey Lecture was inaugurated in 2001 in memory of the late Colin Cowdrey, who together with fellow ex-England captain Ted Dexter (like Cowdrey also a former MCC president), was instrumental in having a section on the 'spirit of cricket' included as a preamble to the 2000 edition of the laws of the game.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)