Imran Khan delivers a speech as Pakistan's Prime Minister.

Five cricketers who became Prime Ministers

There have been numerous instances of cricketers joining politics after calling time on their careers. Cricketers are generously welcomed into the field of politics, considering their respectable stature and social goodwill. Although a majority of such personalities end up holding important designations in the administrative framework, very few go on to lead their beloved motherlands.

There are five such cricketers who later went on to become Prime Ministers of their respective countries.


#1 Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964. A talented cricketer, he played for Middlesex and Oxford University during his professional career. Representing Middlesex in 10 first-class matches between 1924 and 1927, the batsman scored 147 runs at an average of 16.33 with a best score of 37 not out

Also renowned for his medium-pace bowling, he bagged 12 wickets at an average of 30.25 with a best of 3 for 43. Three first-class games that he played were internationals against Argentina on the MCC "representative" tour of South America in 1926–27.


Having served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Edward Heath at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Dunglass outclassed his formidable opponent Harold Hilson to become the Prime Minister of the UK. Courtesy titled as Lord Dunglass, his avid understanding of economic and diplomatic matters made him stand apart from the rest during the elections conducted in October 1963.

#2. Francis Bell

Sir Francis Bell.

Sir Francis Bell was the first New Zealand PM to be born in the country. Sir Francis Bell was the solitary New Zealand-born citizen who officially served as the Prime Minister during his short tenure from May 10 to 30, 1925. An eminent cricketer in his teens, he represented Wellington in two first-class matches. Unable to flourish at the national level, Sir Francis Bell hung up his boots and entered politics


Born and brought up in Nelson, Francis Bell graduated from Cambridge University. Commencing his political stint as the Mayor of Wellington, his political career culminated in him becoming prime minister, albeit only for 16 days.

#3 Kamisese Mara

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara is regarded as the founding father of the island nation of Fiji. He served as the nation's PM from 1970 to 1992 and then its President from 1993 to 2000.


Kamisese Mara appeared in two first-class matches for Fiji against Otago and Canterbury in Fiji's 1953/54 tour of New Zealand.

The vice-captain of the squad, Mara's career as a professional cricketer was curtailed by an unfortunate injury to his right arm during the match against Canterbury, where he was batting on 44 not out. A lethal right-arm fast-medium bowler, with the ball he took 8 wickets at a bowling average of 17.12, with best figures of 4/77.

#4 Imran Khan

Pakistan captain Imran Khan after winning the 1992 cricket World Cup final.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan struggled for 22 years to fulfill his dream of becoming Pakistan's Prime Minister. Imran Khan played Test cricket for Pakistan between 1971 and 1992 and was the captain of the national team during the victorious World Cup campaign in 1992 and is regarded as one the greatest cricketers the country has produced.

#5 Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif.

World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan isn't the only Pakistani cricketer to rise to the top of political leadership in the nation. Interestingly, his political rival Nawaz Sharif was a competent club cricketer and played a singular first-class match. However, Sharif endured a forgetful debut as he got out for a golden duck.

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Edited by
S Chowdhury
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