Paarl Rocks’ Tabraiz Shamsi – the new Spin Wizard in Town
Move aside Harry Houdini, Teller and Apollo Robbins. There is a new wizard in town and his name is Tabraiz Shamsi.
And we are not even referring to Shamsi’s bag of tricks which includes googlies, chinamen and leg breaks when he is turning out for the Paarl Rocks or the Standard Bank Proteas.
You see, before the cricket bug really took off, the Parktown Boys alumnus was a professional magician and aspired to follow in the footsteps of great stuntmen like Houdini and David Copperfield.
Mzansi Super League fans have been treated to a few of his ruses, which have become part of his match day entertainment, and often after taking a wicket. This keeps the fans guessing and in great anticipation of what he’ll have up his sleeve when he dismisses the next batsman. After all, cricket is entertainment.
We have already seen the famous boot call - where he takes off his colourful boots and pretends to be making a phone call.
Last Friday, Shamsi pulled off a new trick against Jozi Stars at Eurolux Boland Park when he unveiled the ‘magic wand’ celebration that has now gone viral on cricket sites.
Soon after getting his wicket, he took out what looked like a handkerchief that in a blink of an eye, somehow, stretched into a stick that left fans bamboozled.
While playing his cards close to his chest, the 29-year-old from Lenasia revealed: “I have always been fascinated by magic and different tricks.”
Shamsi added: “From the age of about 15 or 16, I wanted to become a magician as it was a hobby of mine. It wasn’t just a phase, but something that really interested me as a small child. I still love it, but cricket obviously took over after that.”
Of course, one of the reasons why he had to showcase this other talent on the cricket field is because cricket – more especially T20 cricket - is entertainment after all.
“People come out to watch us play and sometimes we (the players) become too serious,” said Shamsi.
“We are going to make mistakes out on the field, because everybody makes mistakes. The celebrations and tricks do not distract me from doing my job. I am not the first bowler to get hit out of the park and it is not my magic tricks that make me get hit.
“Entertaining on the field is just my way of taking pressure off myself and being able to enjoy things. I feel like when I am myself, I am able to play my best cricket.”
©Cricket World 2019