Cricketing legend Wasim Akram is awarded with an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for his significant contribution to cricket during his sporting career.

Known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ for his left arm deliveries, the former Lancashire County Cricket Club captain and Pakistan record-holder accepted the prestigious award in front of a packed audience at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Wasim AkramOn receiving the award, Akram said it is a massive honour and a privilege for him to receive this Honorary Fellowship. “I never thought I would be wearing academic robes so to get this award from such a fantastic University; it is absolutely overwhelming,” he added

To new graduates, he said 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.

“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.”

A spokesperson for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) said: “We are delighted to confer an Honorary Fellowship to a sporting great who has a great affinity with our county.

“Wasim Akram’s performances for Lancashire County Cricket Club will always be remembered with great fondness. His inspiring performances with his trusty left arm brought success in the domestic game while his award-winning career flourished on the international stage with Pakistan. He has achieved so much success during his career and he is a great example to our graduates and our wider University community.”

During his county career, Akram 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.