Imran Tahir has just turned 40, but has the energy of a 30-year-old. And his bowling isn’t too shabby at the moment either.
The googly master is actually in the form of his life, as he took the most wickets in the recent IPL, claiming 26 scalps for Chennai Super Kings – one ahead of Kagiso Rabada, although the spinner bowled in five more innings.
But now he has bigger fish to fry: his third, and last World Cup. And he has unfinished business, and a few more wild celebrations in him.
Tahir shot to stardom on the back of his excellent ODI debut at the 2011 tournament, where he took 14 wickets in five matches.
He was again a top performer at the 2015 edition, with 15 wickets in eight games. But he wasn’t able to dismiss any New Zealand batsman in that fateful semi-final at Eden Park, although he conceded only 40 runs in nine overs.
Will it be third time lucky for Tahir in the UK?
He has all the experience of English conditions, having played years of county cricket, and that might just be the edge the Proteas need in their bowling attack.
“Most of us have been playing cricket, so obviously that’s how you want to get into the World Cup. Ja, really excited about it. Came back and joined the camp,” Tahir said at a recent press conference about rejoining the Proteas.
“There’s a really good vibe, and we are really looking forward to the greatest competition coming ahead.
“What we’ve been doing, we must just do that – we’ve been playing a very good brand of cricket. We need to carry that on and take it into the World Cup, and we will be fine.
“It’s obviously a dream to do well in the World Cups, and any game playing for South Africa is a great opportunity for all of us.
“It’s obviously good for a spinner if it’s a hot summer. I have been playing there (in the past), and at the start of the competition, I still think the pitches are going to be quite good for batting.
“And as the competition goes (on), I think it is going to start spinning – and that always happens in England. As a spinner, I’m really excited if the weather stays like that.”