ICC awarded him the car in 1989
What made Prime Minister Imran Khan apologise for the Range Rover awarded to him by the ICC in 1989?
Imran shared a newspaper clipping with his own words in the lede: “I’m sorry I won the car.”
In 1989, Imran won a Range Rover worth AUD$72,000 after being declared the International Cricketer of the Year. But what happened afterwards made him apologise for his prize.
Imran and Australian batsman Dean Jones were both gunning for the ICC prize. Imran’s win didn’t sit well with Australian cricketers, including the then-captain Allan Border, who thought Dean should have won it. Each player on the Australian cricket team would have received AUD$600 had Dean been awarded the Range Rover.
The Australian press coverage wasn’t different either. Imran said in an interview that the media made him feel as if he had “committed a crime” winning the car.
The next day when Imran went for a toss with Dean for one of the three finals at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium, he was wearing a T-shirt printed with the words I’m sorry I won the car.
According to the newspaper, Allan’s embarrassment “multiplied” when he learnt that Imran was donating proceeds from the Range Rover’s sale to building the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore.
Prominent sports journalist Henry Blofeld remarked he would have given the prize to Wasim Akram if he had to choose between Imran and Dean.
Imran was the first Asian to win the prize, which was started by the ICC in 1979.