South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from Chennai Super Kings fans.
Tahir was bought by CSK for his base price of Rs 1 crore at the auction in late January earlier this year and presently he is practising with the franchise ahead of their opener on April 7 against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
Every practice session in Chennai so far has been witnessed by a multitude of fans. For their encouraging support, the spinner, who has played for Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiant in the past, is all gratitude: "The passion of Chennai Super Kings fans makes me realise that I am in a special place.
"Every day has made me realise how lucky I am to be picked by CSK. It is vastly different from any franchise that I have played for. I am thankful for the way they (fans) are supporting us and I can’t wait to play our first home game," he told chennaisuperkings.com recently.
Of late the wrist spinners are back in vogue. India spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are the prime proponents of the art and Tahir is not too far behind. “It is not an easy job, to be honest, but wrist spinners have done extremely well in IPL and in T20 leagues around the world.
“Leg-spin as an art is unique, but it’s a big challenge for a leg-spinner in that he can go for 40-50 runs on any day and people think why did they pick him?
“Cricket has changed and it has become a lot harder for spinners in general. Modern day cricket requires leg-spinners to have a lot of variations to be successful," he said.
The 39-year-old has enjoyed top positions in the ODI and T20 rankings at one time and doesn't seem to be too bothered by his age. “I don’t think age should be a defining factor, it is fitness and the hunger to succeed that matters. Brad Hodge and Brad Hogg are big examples, and why not?
“I have a lot of passion for the game and look to do well and deliver at every given opportunity. If you bring value to the team and people want to watch you, I don’t think age should be stopping you,” he said.