Imran Tahir is one of the most beloved cricketers in the world. Despite making his debut in international cricket in his 30s, Tahir has quickly made his name for South Africa. The 40-year-old leg-spinner was born in Pakistan but transitioned to South Africa after playing county cricket in England. He has been an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings’ side in the Indian Premier League for the past 4-5 years.
Tahir played First-Class cricket in Pakistan but realised his dream of playing international cricket when he moved to South Africa. Tahir is grateful for the Proteas to providing him with the opportunity despite hoping to turn out for the Pakistan cricket team early in his career.
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“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.
“However, I am grateful to South Africa and the citizens of the country for giving me this opportunity to realise my dreams.”
Tahir remembered his journey in cricket, right from his growing up days to playing professional cricket.
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“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,” the leg-spinner said.
“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 has played 20 Test matches, 107 ODIs and 38 T20Is for South Africa and has grabbed 293 wickets in all formats.