Imran Tahir has said he was one of the first ones to express desire to play in the Pakistan vs World XI T20I series that begins on Tuesday in Lahore. The South Africa spinner further stated he shared good things about Pakistan which allayed the security fears in the minds of his teammates.
Tahir, born in Pakistan, has a family in Lahore and visits the country every year. The three T20Is, to be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in Lahore, is the first major series in Pakistan in eight years. The only other international series prior to this had been Zimbabwe’s tour in 2015 under tight security. Pakistan have been playing their home matches in Dubai after an attack on Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 resulted in ICC taking away all matches from the country due to security concerns.
“I told (teammates) very positive things because I have been coming here to meet my family every year,” said Tahir on Monday. “I answered their questions and they have come, so thanks to them that they believed me. We have come here with a positive mind and will go positively.”
Tahir was picked for Pakistan U-19 and A teams but migrated to South Africa in 2006 amid tough competition for places in the Pakistan team. He made his debut for the Proteas at the 2011 World Cup and finished as the country’s second highest wicket taker.
“I am very proud and very happy where I am in my career,” he said. “When I was told that these three matches could happen, probably I was the first one who said that I would love to go,” Tahir said. He’s one of the five South Africans in the side alongside Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel, Hashim Amla, and David Miller. Du Plessis is the captain of World XI.