Chennai Super Kings’ Imran Tahir, who has carved a niche for himself through this ‘running around the ground’ celebration, has claimed that raw passion invokes his ‘run’ and he’s been doing the same for over 15 years. Tahir, purple cap winner in IPL 2019, is yet to make an appearance this season.
With just three wins in ten games, three-time champions Chennai Super Kings’ IPL 2020 season has been in dire straits and both the coach and captain have indicated that a playoff spot might be well out of their reach. But amidst the chaos, what’s infuriated and baffled a majority of the loyalists has been the club’s treatment of Imran Tahir. Purple cap winner in the 2019 edition with 26 wickets to his name, Tahir is, remarkably, yet to make an appearance this season, despite the club’s other premier spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla, misfiring.
But keeping IPL woes aside, the 41-year-old, today, appeared in Ravichandran Ashwin’s YouTube channel to have a rather light chat about life and sport. And in one segment, when Ashwin asked Tahir about his trademark celebration, where he tees off to the boundary line after taking a wicket, the leg-spinner gave the most Tahir answer imaginable. The 41-year-old, whose celebration has given birth to a barrage of memes, revealed that it’s the passion which invokes his ‘run’ and narrated a funny incident from 15 years ago, wherein he accidentally walked to the road after taking a match-winning catch.
“I call it pure passion. I actually don’t know where it comes from. Even in club cricket in England, where I played 15 years ago, I took a wicket, and then I took a catch and I ran. That was the last wicket and I ran actually outside the ground,” Tahir said in a video posted in Ashwin’s YouTube channel.
“It was a (river) bank and then I went down the bank and ended up on the road. I didn’t realize that, so I had to walk on the road and come back to the ground. It was very funny, people were laughing at me, but I didn’t know what I did. It’s very funny but that’s how I always have been.”
Bowlers tend to not celebrate inconsequential wickets, or wickets they don’t consider valuable, but not Tahir. The South African puts the same energy into his celebration 10/10 times and never ceases to amaze or entertain the viewers. Expanding further on the topic, the veteran claimed that the ‘run’ is something that comes to him instinctively and revealed that in a league like IPL, he considers every wicket to be equal to getting a South African contract.
“To be honest, there is no plan for my celebration. I just think every wicket is very important and why not? I’m playing one of the best leagues in the world against the best players in the world and so if I’m doing well and I take one wicket, that’s as good as getting a South Africa contract,” said the 41-year-old.