100 up for Imran Tahir

100 up for Imran Tahir

On the eve of Imran Tahir’s 100th ODI for the Proteas, he reflected on his long and arduous journey to the top of the world game.

Imran Tahir speaks to the press / Myron Naicker
Imran Tahir speaks to the press / Myron Naicker

Immy, will wrack up a century of caps when the Proteas play Bangladesh at the Oval on Sunday as South Africa go in search of their first win at the 2019 World Cup.  

Tahir who is the oldest player at the tournament spoke to the press on Saturday, delivering an emotional and heartfelt message.

“This means a lot to me, which I can never express in words,” the Lahore-born leg spinner said.

“So I'm the guy who come through a lot of hard patches, seen a lot of hardships and lost my parents without seeing me play international cricket.”

He made his ODI debut for the Proteas at the 2011 World Cup and is South Africa’s all-time leading spinner (164).

“I have not seen my brothers or sisters in the last two years, so this country that I'm representing and every game I'm playing for is really important to me, and I'm really proud,” Tahir said.

“I'm just really grateful to my family. They understand that, you know, I'm away from them, but there is an important reason for that, said.

READ: Proteas relaxed ahead of World Cup opener

Tahir broke two records in the tournament opener against England on Thursday. He became the first spinner to bowl the opening over of the match in World Cup history, while it was also the first time that a leg spinner had ever opened the bowling in an ODI match for South Africa. It was a move that paid off as he got the wicket of Johnny Bairstow in just the second ball.

“I'm really grateful for all I've got from South Africa and I hope that I'll pay that back somehow, and I'm really looking forward for this World Cup, and I will be very proud if I do well for my team,” Tahir concluded.

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