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Academic honours for the ‘Sultan of Swing’

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CRICKET STAR: Wasim Akram received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire

CRICKET STAR: Wasim Akram received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire

A cricketing legend has continued to pick up his off-field honours, over a decade after his final innings, after receiving an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Wasim Akram, former Lancashire County Cricket Club captain and Pakistan record-holder, accepted the prestigious award today, Wednesday, in front of a packed audience at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ for his left arm deliveries, he was given the award for his significant contribution to cricket during his sporting career.

He said: “It’s a massive honour and a privilege for me to receive this Honorary Fellowship. I never thought I would be wearing academic robes so to get this award from such a fantastic University is absolutely overwhelming.

“I love Lancashire, I enjoyed playing for Lancashire, I still have a house here, I come back to visit my friends and everyone is so friendly. The people are so hard-working and that is what I learned from my time playing here, you have to work hard to achieve success.”

During his county career he won the EBC trophy and Axa League with the Old Trafford based team.

He made his Test debut for Pakistan in 1985 and holds the record for taking the most wickets in a World Cup, being one of only three bowlers to have taken four hat-tricks in International Cricket and the highest score by a number eight batsman in Test cricket.

He also holds a Pakistani record of taking 414 wickets in 104 matches in Test Cricket, 502 One Day Internationals (ODI) wickets, and he remains the first bowler in International Cricket who has taken 400 wickets in both forms of cricket.

He collected his award in front of new School of Film, Media and Performance graduates, their family and friends.

He added: “Nothing is easy in life, there are no short cuts but these graduates are in a privileged position to accept good opportunities and my message is clear, hard work prevails.”

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