Proteas

Shamsi 'fired up' after topping T20 rankings: 'It came as a surprise'

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South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (AFP)
South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (AFP)
Aamir QURESHI / AFP
  • Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi said he was surprised after becoming the number one-ranked ICC T20 bowler.
  • Shamsi expressed his delight at the career milestone, stating he always felt like he was "out of the radar".
  • He added that he will be "fired-up" ahead of next week's first of three ODIs against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says he's fired up after taking over top spot in the ICC T20 bowling rankings.

On Wednesday, Shamsi moved past Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan to climb to number one for the first time in his career.

Shamsi hasn't been in action for the Proteas since February when he took six wickets in South Africa's 2-1 T20 series loss in Pakistan.

"It caught me by surprise since we are not actively playing at this moment. It was a very good surprise, no lie," said Shamsi.

"Team performances and team rankings are obviously more important than personal performances but having said that as individuals you have to try and perform and make the team win games."

Shamsi admitted that the milestone was an affirmation of his progress as he admitted to being usually "out of the radar".

"It is quite pleasing as a sign that I'm doing the right things. I like to contribute towards the team and it's something that I pride myself on," said Shamsi.

"I've flown quite a lot out of the radar but yeah it's nice to be ranked number one in the world but I need to focus on my job."

The Proteas spinner is expected to be in action from next week when South Africa hosts a limited-overs series tour against Pakistan.

Shamsi acknowledged that he'd be "fired up" ahead of the first of three ODIs is scheduled on Friday, 2 April in Centurion.

"It does get me fired up but I'm always fired up to do well for my country. The rankings are there but I'm not paying too much attention to it," said the Proteas spinner.

"It doesn't matter if I'm 100th in the rankings, I'm always pumped up, you can see it in my celebrations and the way I am on the field.

"I like to play aggressive and be fired-up when I'm on the field, all I'm thinking of is trying to make the team win and make our country proud."

The one-dayers will be followed by a four-match T20I series from 10-16 April with Shamsi also involved.

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