Rarely does one see a celebratory run as intense, heartfelt and one that almost covers the length of a cricket field as Imran Tahir’s. It implies just how much he enjoys the game even at an age of 38. His passion for the game has been further exemplified as it has become a common sight in this edition of the IPL to watch Tahir practicing his art with leggies from opposition teams after the match is done.
After his team’s match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Imran Tahir was seen exchanging words with the young Afghan leg spinner, Rashid Khan. Their chat was followed by an extended bowling session with both of them standing at either ends of the pitch. Rashid did most of the bowling as Tahir collected the ball muttering out words of wisdom after every delivery. It is very easy to see where such a wise behavior stems from if one has followed the path of Tahir’s career. He had played domestic cricket in Pakistan, England, and South Africa barely making ends meet for many years before bursting onto the international stage in South African colours. He later revealed that it was him who approached Rashid Khan as he firmly believes that sharing knowledge leads to the growth of the art of leg spin bowling and is the best way to learn new things as well.
Tahir told a leading news-publishing website, “I do it from my heart. Even last year I helped a couple of Gujarat Lions players. I won’t take names but I do it from my heart. Even now I go to their room and discuss things with them. Bataane se zyaada hi milta hai, kam nahi.. [By sharing you’re bound to receive more, not less],”
A few days later he was seen sharing his unique style of perfecting the googly with his opposite number from the match against Mumbai Indians, Karn Sharma. He was on his knees delivering good length balls that turned the other way and asked Karn to do the same. All of this after he delivered an excellent 17th over against the run of play to shift the momentum of the game towards his side which Pune eventually won by a narrow margin of 3 runs. A lot of players would’ve taken a breather after such an intense game to refresh both mentally and physically.
Tahir is a self-confessed tragic of the sport who genuinely believes in the evolution of the game and leaving the craft in better shape for the youngsters who look to take up leg spin bowling.