London: Former pacer Zaheer Khan has been made an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), becoming the 24th Indian cricketer to be bestowed the honour.
“MCC has elected Zaheer Khan as an Honorary Life Member of the Club,” the Club said in a statement.
Zaheer is the second former India international to be elected in recent weeks following Virender Sehwag, who became an Honorary Life Member last month. The list also includes the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, who were inducted in previous years. Zaheer played 92 Test matches for his country during a successful career, taking 311 wickets at 32.94 runs apiece. The 37-year-old was also a mainstay in the One-Day International side. Making his debut in 2000, Zaheer took 282 wickets in 200 ODIs at an average of 29.34.
He played three Tests at Lord’s, and narrowly missed out on a place on the Lord’s Honours Board when he took 4/79 in the drawn Test match between England and India in 2007. He also played three ODIs at the Home of Cricket, including the famous NatWest Series Final in 2002, in which he took 3/62.
Having retired from international and first class cricket in 2015, Zaheer remains highly sought after in the Indian Premier League, after successful spells with Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “Zaheer Khan was a fantastic servant to cricket in India and an integral part of their very successful side for many years. For this reason the Club is very pleased to award him with Honorary Life Membership.
“He was always great to watch when he played at Lord’s and we look forward to having him back here as an MCC Member.”
Honorary Life Membership is awarded by the MCC Committee to individuals in recognition of the service they have given to the cricket and projects surrounding the game, often over a very long period.
There are now more than 300 Honorary Life Members of MCC out of a total Full Membership of 18,000.