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Pakistan origin MP in the UK asks knighthood for Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram

Recently former England captain Alastair Cook was knighted by the Queen.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Recently former England captain Alastair Cook received a knighthood from the Queen of England for his services to the sport. This has led to call for other players to receive a knighthood for their services of cricket. Mostly players from commonwealth nations have received knighthood including Richard Hadlee from New Zealand and Don Bradman of Australia.

Players from West Indies receive a knighthood from their respective governments. West Indies greats like Curtly Ambrose, Learie Constantine, Rev. Wes Hall, Viv Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts, Everton Weekes, and Frank Worrell have all being knighted for their services to cricket by their respective governments.

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Knighthood for Indian and Pakistani players

No Asian cricketer has ever received a knighthood for their services to cricket. The Maharajkumar of Vizianagram received a knighthood from King Edward VIII in 1936. Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram was the captain of the Indian cricket team that toured England in 1936. He renounced the knighthood in 1947 after India gained independence from Britain.

Now, Conservative MP Rehman Chishti on Monday, in the House of Commons raised the point of giving knighthoods to other players from India and Pakistan. This issue was raised during the debate on Commonwealth Day. Chishti, MP from Gillingham and Rainham in Kent, raised the issue when foreign office minister mentioned cricket as one of the shared values of Commonwealth.

Chisti was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “In Australia, Sir Don Bradman was knighted, and in New Zealand, Sir Richard Hadlee was knighted, but there has been no knighthood for cricketers from Pakistan, India, South Africa or Sri Lanka, which have produced some brilliant cricketers.”

He named players like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev from India, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan from Pakistan and Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka are prime candidates for receiving a knighthood. He mentioned that there has been no knighthood for cricketers from Pakistan, India, South Africa or Sri Lanka and this anomaly can be rectified in 2019, the year the UK hosts the Cricket World Cup.

A positive response from the foreign minister

Foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin responded positively to Chisti’s question. She mentioned that Chisti had made quite a compelling argument for recognizing more cricketers from around the Commonwealth. She said, “My hon. Friend is right; I mentioned Bangladeshi women’s cricket. I am also thrilled that in Rwanda, which is one of the newer members of the Commonwealth, cricket is fast growing into a very popular, if not leading, national sport. He is right to make the link between the Commonwealth and cricket.”

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