Proteas star spinner Imran Tahir is at the top of his game as the Proteas head into key series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, at the same time gearing up for their greatest challenge: Mission Cricket World Cup 2019.
‘It is not easy to play at the highest level for so long,’ says Tahir. ‘People don’t see the hard work behind the scenes … I still get up every morning feeling like I want to do well for my country.’
Tahir has taken the 12th most wickets in T20I cricket as well as taking nine four-fors in ODIs. He is also one of only 11 bowlers to have taken a seven-for in an ODI match. The Proteas are looking for him to spearhead their World Cup campaign, with the possibility of teaming him up with Tabraiz Shamsi in a twin-spin attack.
‘The more spinners, the better,’ says Tahir. ‘It makes the game exciting. We help captains with the over rate too,’ he smiles.
‘I have played for years in England, at almost every county and on all the grounds. I know the pitches very well. They are taking more and more spin,’ he adds.
Also in the new issue:
– Heinrich Klaasen has established himself as Quinton de Kock’s understudy and is on course for a World Cup call-up.
– Chloe Tryon has her sights on being the best all-rounder in the world and is determined to drive the Proteas to new heights.
– Andile Phehlukwayo is on course to make an impact for the Proteas in the World Cup.
– Ben Stokes: Lawrence Booth believes 2019 will be Stokes’ chance to finally shine with the white ball.
– Women’s World T20: We run the rule over the Proteas Women after their batters failed to fire in the Women’s World T20.
– Gary Lemke column: Fast bowling legend Dale Steyn remains unappreciated locally by Proteas fans.
– Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week: We look back at the schoolboy tournament that has helped to mould scores or South Africa’s greatest cricketers.
– The D’Oliveira legacy: Basil D’Oliveira, his son and grandson have carved a unique legacy at Worcestershire cricket club.
– Graeme Pollock column: Why top players put their faith in their instincts and go with the flow.
– JP Duminy: The experienced all-rounder has breathed new life (and a bold new mentality) into the Proteas squad.
PLUS: HD Ackerman The Women’s World T20 was played in an incredible spirit | Donovan Miller Jozi Stars’ shadow coach shares his insights | Tabraiz Shamsi is pumped and positive for a crack at the World Cup | Mickey Arthur has moulded Pakistan into a team of world-beaters | Kenosi Mashwabi on the importance of strength and conditioning for cricketers | Mohammad Abbas | Marco Marais | Anrich Nortje | Jonathan Bird.