Tahir backs the Proteas to shine at the 2019 World Cup

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Proteas spinner Imran Tahir feels that the side will be competitive in the 2019 edition of the Cricket World Cup set to be staged in England and Wales.

Tahir hopes the Proteas can give fast bowling legend Dale Steyn an appropriate send-off in what could also be the final major tournament for Tahir and a number of other senior players.

Speaking to Pakpassion.net Tahir said: “I’m looking at next year’s World Cup as a tournament that South Africa can do well in. We have a good team and have a great bunch of guys who will fight to the end and never give up. I can’t predict that we will win the World Cup but I’m pretty sure we can get through to the semi-finals and then anything is possible.”

When asked about his trademark zealous celebrations Tahir admitted that he isn’t really in control of himself at the moment the wicket falls.

He said: “I’m not really sure what goes through my mind when I take a wicket, I sort of lose control. I think it’s the relief and the passion coming out every time I take a wicket as I have waited all my life to get the chance to play at the highest level of cricket and finally I got there, so I just want to enjoy and savour every wicket. I also feel that every wicket is important and special to me, whether it’s club cricket or international cricket and it’s probably that passion coming out from within when I pick up a wicket.”

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It is not yet clear if Steyn will feature at the quadrennial showpiece but Tahir is hoping the side gives him and fans something to savour in the UK next year.

He said: “Just like Jacques Kallis, you simply cannot replace Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who have been great servants of South African cricket.

“I salute such great performers and I hope that as a team South Africa can give Dale Steyn a great send-off from white ball cricket next year at the World Cup.”

Tahir has also backed Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan to be a huge success in international cricket in the future.

He went on: “Leg-spin bowling seems to be gaining strength in international cricket and I believe that Shadab Khan is not only a great bowler, but a fantastic all-rounder.

“He’s a special and very talented cricketer and he has shown all over the world wherever he has played that he is already a world-class talent.

“He will only get better with experience and he is going to prove to be a huge challenge for batsmen all around the globe in the coming years.”

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