Imran Khan. Image Credit: Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani cricket stars have come out in support of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as the country prepares to go to the polls on Wednesday.

“It was in your leadership skip @ImrankhanPTI that we became world champions in 1992. It is in your leadership that we can again become a great democratic country,” tweeted Wasim Akram.

“You have got what it takes Skipper @ImranKhanPTI but it will take everything you have ... No one can doubt your Honesty and that’s what is require in our country ... An honest LEADER,” tweeted former captain Waqar Younis.

BehindYouSkipper became one of the country’s top trending hashtags as celebrities and former cricketers came to Khan’s support.

Former Australian star Dean Jones also lent his support.

“I am not a political person ... but @ImranKhanPTI I would have loved to play under ... great leader and would do well for Pakistan if given the opportunity,” he tweeted.

Imran Khan was catapulted to global fame as a World Cup cricket champion, but the man known in the West as a celebrity playboy is now seeking to lead Pakistan as a populist, devout and anti-corruption reformist.

Khan’s chances of becoming prime minister on July 25 are believed to be his best since entering politics two decades ago. But critics allege the electoral playing field is being fixed for the erstwhile fast bowling all-rounder by the powerful military.

Khan has denied the claims and decried the venality of Pakistan’s political elite, promising to build an “Islamic welfare state” if his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party forms the next government.

Recent polls show PTI’s popularity climbing nationally.