He’ll be 40 by the time the World Cup in England rolls along next year but you can bet on Imran Tahir still running around like a crazy 20-year-old when he takes a wicket.
The Proteas’ leg-spinner has become famous for his elaborate celebrations yet even in the twilight of his career, he still can’t explain why he does it.
“I’m not really sure what goes through my mind when I take a wicket, I sort of lose control,” Tahir told Pakpassion.net.
“I think it’s the relief and the passion coming out every time I take a wicket as I have waited all my life to get the chance to play at the highest level of cricket and finally I got there, so I just want to enjoy and savour every wicket.”
Indeed, that attitude illustrates clearly why Tahir is still so keen to keep on going despite his age – cricket truly is life.
“I also feel that every wicket is important and special to me, whether it’s club cricket or international cricket and it’s probably that passion coming out from within when I pick up a wicket,” he said.
Rested for the tour to Sri Lanka as the national selectors decided to explore their depth, the Pakistani-born exponent has been keeping match fit with English county Durham and West Indian outfit Guyana in both countries’ domestic T20 tournaments.
It swells the number of teams he’s represented in his career to an incredible 37.
“The motivation never diminishes however many teams you play for around the world. Nobody is going to make sure you are motivated, you have to do that yourself and it has to come from within,” said Tahir.
The veteran is expected to be back in the Proteas fold for the coming international assignments and is highly optimistic about South Africa’s build-up towards next year’s showpiece tournament.
“I’m looking at next year’s World Cup as a tournament that South Africa can do well in. We have a good team and have a great bunch of guys who will fight to the end and never give up. I can’t predict that we will win the World Cup but I’m pretty sure we can get through to the semi-finals and then anything is possible.”