The veteran South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who is the most international wicket-taker for South Africa as a spinner, recently revealed his experience during his first meeting with the former Indian World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni is one of the Indian cricketers who have been most respected and loved by cricket fans. The cool and calm leader is a favourite among many cricketers. Imran Tahir has also the same feeling.
While Tahir was aware of Dhoni, their first meeting was when Tahir was picked up as a replacement of the injured Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh by the now-defunct IPL team Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in their final season (2017).
During their first meeting, Dhoni heartily welcomed the Pakistan-born South African leg-spinner.
Tahir told Anis Sajan, mentor of the Abu Dhabi T10 League side Delhi Bulls, “I had been watching him on TV. But I never met in person. I first met him when I got picked for Pune and actually I was quite nervous, I didn’t know how to react. But I was amazed, I was outside my room door and he came to me from his room and said: ‘Imran bhai, welcome. This is my room and you are more than welcome anytime.'”
Tahir liked that welcome so much that his all the hesitations were gone immediately.
He added, “This is probably the best thing to hear from a legend like Dhoni. Like I said, it was very kind of him. He is such a down to earth guy. I thought ‘If you are offering me that, I am definitely coming to your room’. That was very kind of him. Like I said, that was the first time I met him personally.”
Since 2018, Tahir is serving for MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK). While Dhoni shares anything comes to his room, Tahir and other teammates used to go to his room. Talking about this, Tahir especially mentioned Dhoni’s mango sharing.
Tahir continued, “We used to go to his room, we still go because he gets mangoes coming in from all over the world. We love to eat that. All of us. Anything comes to his room, he offers to everybody. It’s been a special journey with him. I really hope I get another year, or 2, or 3 years to play with him and make my journey more special.”
They are a very professional team: Imran Tahir about CSK
Moreover, Tahir highly praised his present IPL team CSK. While he called the CSK as a family club, he also mentioned Dhoni as the best captain in the world.
Tahir said, “They are a very professional team, right from the owners to team management. We never feel like there is a pressure from anyone. It’s a family club. And we have the best captain in the world. I feel so comfortable, me and my family, because every time we go there, they treat us just as their family and this is something you won’t see anywhere.”
While Tahir is a busy player in the present global T20 leagues system, he has claimed that the CSK is the best franchise for him.
The leg-spinner quoted, “CSK is the best franchise I’ve played for. What makes CSK special is we respect each other, we play really hard and we enjoy our victories. So, it has been an amazing experience playing for CSK. The CSK family is very close to my heart.”
Imran Tahir made his IPL debut for Delhi Daredevils (present name Delhi Capitals) in 2014 summer. After playing 55 IPL matches, Tahir has taken 79 wickets. In the IPL 2019, while the CSK finished as the runners-up, Tahir won the Purple Cap (26 wickets).