ISLAMABAD, Jun 09 (APP):Pakistani-born South African cricketer Imran Tahir believes the cricket he played and learned in Pakistan helped him overcome his fears.
“There is not a single kid who doesn’t want to play for Pakistan. I have learned all my cricket in Pakistan. I have played first-class cricket in many countries including England and South Africa, but playing in Pakistan has helped me overcome all my fears,” Tahir told CriCast as quoted by sportskeeda.com.
Tahir also expressed his disappointment on not being able to represent the Green-shirts at the highest level.
Tahir moved from Pakistan to South Africa via the UK. He played first-class cricket in Pakistan and county cricket for Middlesex and Yorkshire. He then traveled to South Africa, where he realized his dream of playing international cricket.
Imran Tahir was grateful to South Africa for providing him with the opportunity. “However, I am grateful to South Africa and the citizens of the country for giving me this opportunity to realise my dreams.”
Tahir said when he started picking wickets he felt he could play professional cricket. Imran Tahir had a fairytale start to his cricketing career. As the eldest son in the family, he had to start working at a very early age. However, his life changed when he was selected for the Pakistan U-19 side after appearing for a trial. Speaking about his journey, Tahir said, “I was never interested in studies while growing up despite my dad being a highly educated person. He is a very big inspiration in my life and I always look up to him.
Coming back, when I was working for a shop in Pakistan, I went for a trial one day.”
“It was the U-19 trials and selectors picked me without even seeing and knowing my background. It marked the beginning of the journey and when I started picking wickets, it looked like I could play professional cricket.”
Tahir also expressed eagerness to see Usman Qadir become a better bowler than him. Both the 42-year-old and the Pakistan leg-spinner play for the same franchise — Multan Sultans— in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021.
Tahir, revealed that he shares his experience with Usman because he is eager to learn new things. “Usman learned to play cricket in front of me. I always try to share all my experience and whatever I learned in the game with Usman, so he can become a better bowler than him. He gives his 100 per cent on the field and always eager to learn new things,” he said while talking to a private news channel.
The Proteas’ spinner further went on to express admiration for legendary Pakistani cricketer and Usman’s father late Abdul Qadir who according to him was his ‘role model’.
“I used to go and learn from late Abdul Qadir. I always wanted to be like him that is why he was my role model.”
Imran Tahir has represented the Proteas in 20 Test matches, 107 ODIs and 38 T20s, picking up 293 wickets across all formats.