South Africa left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi rued the lack of regular playing opportunities in the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying that if he had been given the chance to feature consistently in the tournament, he would have helped win his team the trophy.
While IPL 2022 has seen leg-spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal, Wanindu Hasaranga top the wicket-taking charts, Shamsi, the top-ranked bowler in T20Is, went surprisingly unsold in IPL Mega Auction.
He had represented Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2016-18 as an injury replacement of West Indies’ leg-spinner Samuel Badree and was called up as a replacement for Andrew Tye by Rajasthan Royals in 2021 edition but played just one match. In his overall IPL career, Shamsi has played just five matches, picking three scalps at an economy rate of 9.05.
“No, it does not frustrate me as it is something I can’t control. I’d love to be there, though. I believe in my abilities and I believe if I were given an opportunity to play regularly in the IPL I could help a team win the trophy. In my previous two IPL stints, I didn’t get an opportunity to play regularly,” said Shamsi to SAcricketmag.
“As a player, you need to be given a decent run in order to showcase your abilities. That’s evident from my career. When Imran Tahir was in the Proteas team, I didn’t get to play regularly. But since he moved on (in 2019), I’ve been able to show that I can win games and have climbed up to No 1 in the world,” added Shamsi.
For now, Shamsi’s eyes are on making South Africa emerge victorious in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year. In the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup, South Africa won four out of five matches in Group 1 of Super 10 stage but were unable to move into the semifinals due to net run rate.
“Our T20 team has one of the world’s best bowling attacks and we showed that at last year’s World Cup in the UAE. We were very unlucky not to qualify for the semifinals. We beat two of the best teams there, Pakistan in one of the warm-up games and England in the group stage. We are going to Australia to challenge for that trophy,” stated Shamsi.
Shamsi, 32, signed off by saying that winning a World Cup for South Africa is one of his big goals in white-ball cricket. “My goal is always to try to help my team win the game, no matter where or when I’m playing. But my biggest goal is to help my country win a World Cup and I’m not shy to say that. I want to win a World Cup and I will do everything I can to achieve that.”