Multan Sultans leg-spinner Imran Tahir has only one gear: the top gear. No matter the situation, the location or the occasion, the Lahore-born South Africa superstar exhibits the same ferocious intensity that he would if he were playing in a World Cup final.
Tahir at full tilt, arms aloft, fist-pumping, patting the badge and saluting the heavens — after picking the most meaningless wicket in a dead rubber — is a common sight in the matches he plays.
Even in the ongoing Pakistan Super League 2018 — a league built for TV viewers rather than stadium audience — Tahir is his usual passionate self. In Sunday's game against Islamabad United, the 38-year-old, after nearly masterminding a mid-order collapse, sprinted away with such pace, his dash inspired memes.
When asked why takes every match, in fact every ball, this seriously, he told reporters, "I've done a lot of hard work to get here so I should respect that. I am a big believer that if I respect the game, I will be respected so I take everything very seriously and take nothing for granted."
Tahir, as a naturalised South Africa citizen, gets to play even the Indian Premier League — comfortably the world's biggest T20 league. While it's too early to compare the nascent PSL with its much more established Indian counterpart or even other lesser brands, Tahir is impressed with what he has seen so far in the PCB product.
"My message to the PSL organisers is well done!" he told reporters. "I didn't think it was going to be this tough so the standard here is really good. I'm loving it."