The Legendary cricketer and prime minister Imran Khan Visit

Savayra Foundation UK

THE legendary cricketer and prime minister Imran Khan was guest of honour at a local fundraising event.

Mr Khan attended the charity dinner at the Aakash restaurant in aid of the Savayra Foundation.

The charity, which was founded by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi in 2003, supports vulnerable women in Pakistan.

Speaking in Urdu, Mr Khan told the 300-plus guests he became involved in charity work after his mother died of cancer.

He realised there was not one cancer hospital in Pakistan, and decided he would set about building one.

He founded the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which built a cancer hospital funded by donations he raised from around the world.

Mr Khan played cricket for Pakistan from 1971 to 1992 when he led the team to victory in the World Cup.

A cricket bat signed by the team in 1992, which had been presented as a gift to local cricketer Solly Adam, was auctioned at the Aakash. It went to Sajid Butt for 3,700.

Raffle prizes included a T-shirt signed by Mr Khan.

He praised the work of the Savayra Foundation at the event last Friday, which raised 15,000.

Baroness Warsi said the charity began by providing water coolers to schools, and moved on to empowering vulnerable women such as widows, divorcees and orphans.

She said: "We are stopping women having to go out onto to the streets begging and being abused.

"The Savayra Foundation has no employees in the UK. You can rest assured every single penny goes to those who deserve it."

Javed Iqbal, a senior trustee of the charity, said: "The event was a great success and attracted people from across the north of England.

"It was the first time Imran Khan had visited the area and we were delighted that he lent his support to the charity."

After retiring from cricket Mr Khan founded the Pakistani Movement For Justice party, of which he is an MP.

He is also known in the UK for his personal life, having been married to the heiress Jemima Goldsmith.