NEW YORK - Imran Khan's leadership qualities have been acknowledged by the famed former England umpire Dickie Bird, who named the Pakistani cricket hero the captain of his dream world XI for Test matches, according to media reports.

"My captain. His knowledge was outstanding," Bird, who tuned 80 on Friday, was quoted as saying about Imran Khan. Bird had his "greatest all-time Test XI" in The Telegraph but conspicuous with their absence from the list were the top 10 run-getters in the Test format - Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting - as well as Don Bradman.

Bird, who officiated in 66 Tests and stood in three World Cup finals during a 28-year career as a first-class umpire, included former opener and captain Sunil Gavaskar of India. Opening the batting with Gavaskar in Bird's XI was South African Barry Richards. Bird then goes on to include legends Vivian Richards and Greg Chappell. He also nominates another player ‘largely lost because of apartheid’, Graeme Pollock, as part of the list. Sir Garfield Sobers is an obvious choice in any such list and Bird simply states ‘the all-rounder was the greatest I have ever seen play the game’. ICC Hall of Fame and wicketkeeper-batsman Alan Knott is the only Englishman and compatriot of Bird to feature in the list. Shane Warne of Australia finds a spot as well. Dennis Lillee and West Indian spinner Lance Gibbs round off the eleven.


Sunil Gavaskar, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Greg Chappell, Garfield Sobers, Graeme Pollock, Allan Knott (wk), Imran Khan (capt), Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Lance Gibbs.