Gros Islet: South African spinner Imran Tahir, who is currently playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, has said that he is looking forward to the challenge of representing Guyana Amazon Warriors at this year’s Caribbean Premier League.
This will be the first time that Tahir will play at the CPL, but he has had some success in the Caribbean in the past. In the 2016 One-Day International tri-series featuring South Africa, Australia and the West Indies, he finished with 13 wickets – the most by any bowler in the tournament.
“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 do well and that’s what I am looking for.”
He says that he is looking forward to his return in the Caribbean and making 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.
“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,” he said.
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,” Tahir added.
Imran Tahir will bring his unique wicket-taking celebrations to the CPL. His joy when he takes a wicket is very clear to see, and CPL fans can look forward to watching his exuberance. He says his celebration is all about 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.”
Those celebrations were particularly energetic when Tahir took a hat-trick at the PSL.
When asked if he think he would ever stop running when that third wicket in three balls fell, he said, “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.”
In recent years, Tahir has been restricted to appearances for South Africa in white-ball cricket, and he is hopeful that he can contribute to South Africa doing well at the upcoming 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. 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.”
The Caribbean Premier League is slated to be held from August 8 and September 16.