South Africa spinner Imran Tahir firmly believes that the Proteas can win the 2019 World Cup, and added that he is looking forward to the event.
Tahir has been South Africa’s go-to spinner in the limited overs formats and it is likely that next year will be his last chance to taste World Cup glory.
“I always have a belief and I have been saying that for the last three or four World Cups I have been honoured to play,” Tahir told the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) website. “It was just my dream to play international cricket but never thought I was going to play four World Cups so I am grateful to South Africa for giving me the opportunity.
“I always say that and that’s the belief I have [that we can win the World Cup] with the team we have and the players we have.”
Tahir is currently representing the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but he will be making his first appearance at the CPL later this year, where he will play for the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
“It’s very exciting for me and I guess it’s very challenging for me as well,” he said. “I have been watching CPL on TV for the last couple of years and it looks a very good standard, and I just want to go and express myself and try do well and that’s what I am looking for.
“I have been there (Caribbean) once and I really enjoyed it. It’s spinning friendly so no complaints. Beautiful islands and people are very nice. I just had a really good time and I’m really looking forward to my second trip.
“Whatever is thrown at you I think you just have to adjust to the conditions, sometimes you are lucky sometimes you aren’t. Most of the time wherever you play in the world you don’t get spinning friendly pitches. In Guyana you think that you’re going to get a spin friendly pitch, you’re going to do well. But for me that’s part of the challenge because people’s expectations are high and they are looking for that.
“As a spinner you have to do really well but for me it’s another great challenge. I think the conditions don’t really matter these days because guys are very smart and play a lot of different shots, but it will be a little bit helpful and as I said before it will be a challenge for me.”
When asked about his trademark celebration after taking a wicket, the 39-year-old said: “I think if I had to put it in a simple way, I just feel like it’s the passion for the game.
“It’s been my dream since I was a kid that I wanted to be in that arena where I see all the international players playing around me and I think that’s where I am today. Every wicket I take is very important for me and I think that’s probably built up inside me and it comes out when I take a wicket.
“So look, it’s pure passion for the game, and I just want to carry on doing more celebrations – that means I am taking wickets.”