South African spinner Imran Tahir who is known world over for his trademark running celebration turns 41 on March 27. With 173 ODI wickets in 107 games, 63 T20 wickets in 38 matches and 57 Test wickets in 20 games – Imran Tahir led the spinner brigade in the Proteas team known otherwise for its fierce pace battery. Outside cricket Imran Tahir is known for his ever-smiling persona despite facing several hardships in his life early on. His game is well suited for the 20-over format where he travels the world to take part in the global T20 leagues. He retired from ODIs post the 2019 Cricket World Cup where the Proteas failed miserably. On his birthday, we take a look at some of the fun facts associated with his life. Dale Steyn Left Out of Cricket South Africa's Contract List.
- Mohammad Imran Tahir was born in Lahore, Pakistan in an economically backward family. He took up work at the age of 16 as a salesman to support his family.
- He decided to migrate to South Africa in 2006 to marry the love of his life Summaya whom he met during an Under 19 World Cup in South Africa back in 1998.
- He is the leading wicket-taker spinner for South Africa in ODI’s with 173 wickets and surpassed Paul Adams’ record of 29 wickets in just 15 matches.
- He has played for eight different clubs in England which is a record for county cricket.
- He held the worst bowling figures in Test cricket for Proteas for many years when he gave 260 runs against Australia in Adelaide in 2012. The record was eventually broken by Keshav Maharaj in 2018.
- He only has two variation in his kitty – a traditional leg-spin and an off-break google.
- He made his debut at the age of 32 for South Africa, making him one of the oldest cricketers to do so in international cricket.
- His hat-trick against Zimbabwe in 2018 made him only the fourth Proteas player to scalp one in the fifty-over format.
- He holds the record for representing the highest number of teams in cricket with 27.
A genuine frontline attacking bowler, Imran Tahir has mesmerised fans with his ability with the ball and that famous celebration. He has shown how talent is not defined by age.