One to One with Keith Vaz : Wasim Khan MBE

Thursday 07th February 2019 01:39 EST

In 1990, Wasim was the first Bristish born Pakistani to become a pro cricketer in England. He played in the double winning side at Warwickshire in 1995. In 2005 he was recruited as CEO by Lord Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, to set up and run Chance to Shine, a £50m state school cricket programme. In 9 years, £55m had been raised, 2.5 million children had participated, of which 1 million were girls, and 9,000 state schools had been engaged. In 2006, Wasim's autobiography 'Brim Full of Passion' received the coveted prize of Wisden Book of the Year. In 2014, he completed an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School at the age of 43. In 2015, he became CEO of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, turning the Club that had made signifant financial losses in the previous 4 years, into a profitable business in each of his first 3 years of his tenure. He is currently the only BAME individual in a CEO position across any professional sports club in the UK. In December 2018, Wasim was headhunted and will become the CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board from February 2019 and will be moving to Lahore.

1 Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
Having played cricket in Australia for 4 years, I have always had a love for that country. However, home will always remain as Birmingham. Born and bred in Birmingham, it is diverse and virbant.

2 What are your proudest achievements?
My proudest moment is completing an MBA whilst in full time employment and with a young family. I left school with little qualificantions and I never attended University, so this was my proudest moment.

3 What inspires you?
Challenges excite me: Growing up being told that I would never become a pro cricketer, then being told that Chance to Shine would never work because of its large scale, pushed me on in life. Furthermore, Leicestershire CCC was described as a "basket case" when I took over and I helped turn it around. I will now embark on the "toughest job in world cricket" when I take up the CEO position in Pakistan.

4 What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
Needing people in influential positions to back my corner and fight my case to get me opportunities. I then proved my worth and value!

5 Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
My mother. My father passed away when I was 15 so my mother supported me all the way.

6 What is the best aspect about your current role?
Being involved and getting paid for your passion in life.

7 And the worst?
Not having the resources to play with to really take the Club to another level.

8 What are your long term goals?
To keep enjoying what I do. I don't set any targets, I focus on loving what I do and doing my best and believe my destiny will sort itself out. I have always had this philosphy and it hasn’t failed me as yet!

9 If you were Prime Minister in Pakistan, what one aspect would you change?

10 If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
Muhammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. He died shortly after partition, I would love to have known what his true vision would have been for the future of Pakistan and how he was planning to implelment it.

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