JOHANNESBURG – Before he became a full-time cricketer, South African spin bowler Tabraiz Shamsi wanted to become a professional magician.Now Shamsi has brought his old passion to the cricket field. His extravagant celebrations after taking a wicket have attracted social media interest across the cricket-playing world.The left-arm wrist spinner’s latest trick is to take a large red handkerchief out of his pocket and, with a flick of his wrist, turn it into a metre-long wand.Tabraiz Shamsi with the greatest celebration in sporting history. pic.twitter.com/o6UKtF0gS0— ??? ?????? (@jimarnott23) December 4, 2019“I have always wanted to enjoy myself on the cricket field,” Shamsi told AFP on Friday.“There’s a lot of pressure playing professional cricket and sometimes you forget why you started playing cricket in the first place.“It’s a bit of fun. Not everyone likes it but my intentions are all good. I want to get more kids to enjoy the game.”Playing for the Paarl Rocks in South Africa’s Mzansi Super League Twenty20 competition, Shamsi is the competition’s joint second-highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets in seven matches at an average of 18.00, conceding a relatively economical 7.20 runs an over.With one league match to go, the Rocks are well-placed to make the three-team play-offs.“Before cricket became serious for me, at the age of about 15, I wanted to be a professional magician,” said Shamsi, 29, who has played in two Tests, 17 one-day internationals and 16 T20 internationals for South Africa.He first attracted attention for his celebrations with a dance move -– “some people called it the bus driver dance” -– which he unveiled while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in 2016.He then came up with a mock telephone call, taking off a shoe and pretending it was a mobile phone, while playing for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League two years ago.The trick with the wand is his latest and most elaborate move.“It takes a lot of practice to get things right and I have to be aware of the television cameras so they don’t see exactly what I do,” he said.
SA’s Shamsi brings magic to cricket celebrations
Friday 6 22:01