Imran Tahir says he still has a lot to offer the Proteas and believes they have the players to win the 2019 World Cup.
Despite his age, the 37-year-old Tahir still believes he can contribute to the Proteas by doing well at ICC global events.
‘I always have a belief and I have been saying that for the last three or four World Cups, I have been honoured to play. It was just my dream to play international cricket but never thought I was going to play four World Cups, so I am grateful to South Africa for giving me the opportunity,’ he was quoted on the CPL official website.
‘I always say that and that’s the belief I have [that we can win the World Cup] with the team we have and the players we have.’
Tahir, who is currently playing in the IPL for the Chennai Super Kings, complimented the Caribbean Premier League and revealed his excitement to get started in the competition with the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
‘It’s very exciting for me and I guess it’s very challenging for me as well. I have been watching CPL on TV for the last couple of years and it looks a very good standard, and I just want to go and express myself and try to do well and that’s what I am looking for.’
Tahir has only been to the Caribbean once, in 2016, when the Proteas took on Australia and the West Indies in an ODI triangular series. He ended the tour as leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps and is looking forward to his return to make the most of conditions that suit him.
‘I have been there once and I really enjoyed it. It’s spinning friendly so no complaints. Beautiful islands and people are very nice. I just had a really good time and I’m really looking forward to my second trip,’ Tahir added.
‘Whatever is thrown at you, I think you just have to adjust to the conditions, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you aren’t. Most of the time, wherever you play in the world, you don’t get spinning friendly pitches.
‘In Guyana, you think that you’re going to get a spin-friendly pitch, you’re going to do well. But for me, that’s part of the challenge because people’s expectations are high and they are looking for that.
‘As a spinner, you have to do really well but for me, it’s another great challenge. I think the conditions don’t really matter these days because guys are very smart and play a lot of different shots, but it will be a little bit helpful and as I said before it will be a challenge for me.’
Besides lethal spinning and competitiveness, Tahir will also bring with him his joyful celebrations which he describes as a representation of his passion for cricket.
‘I think if I had to put it in a simple way, I just feel like it’s the passion for the game. It’s been my dream since I was a kid that I wanted to be in that arena where I see all the international players playing around me and I think that’s where I am today.
‘Every wicket I take is very important for me and I think that’s probably built up inside me and it comes out when I take a wicket. So look, it’s pure passion for the game, and I just want to carry on doing more celebrations – that means I am taking wickets.’
When asked about his hat-trick in the PSL for the Multan Sultans and about whether he would ever stop running: ‘No, I don’t think so. I think I ended up in front of Mohammad Irfan and you are not going to cross that man. He’s one of the tallest guys.
‘Look, it was a great achievement for me from a personal point of view and what I did for the team.’