IMRAN TAHIR is embracing life with Durham Jets after playing a pivotal role in their opening victory of the Vitality Blast against Leicestershire Foxes last week.

The Jets play their opening T20 home game tomorrow as they host Yorkshire Vikings at Emirates Riverside, having lost to their local rivals in the opening game of the competition.

They bounced back with a win at Grace Road, with Tahir leading the way with figures of 4-14 in his side’s 33-run triumph, and the 39-year-old is desperate to continue making an impact after signing a nine-game deal with Durham.

“I was very pleased that I was able to do something for the team with my performance,” said Tahir. “Whatever I do, if it’s for the better of the team, I’m happy to do it. It was a good victory, especially an away game. The talent is there and we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“It’s always nice to have a performance under your belt. I’m a big believer in the team, but I’ve been given a role here to come and do something – that’s what I’m here for. Personally, I want to do well because I’ve been given an opportunity and I do not want to take things for granted.”

Tahir is playing for his seventh county in England, although he has revealed that he could have joined Durham earlier in his career. He spent a short time on trial in the North-East, although competition for places resulted in an unsuccessful bid to secure a contract.

“I didn’t know the people here, but they’ve been really nice and have welcomed me,” he said. “I think the second good thing was the ground, which I knew before I came here was quite big for the spinner. It’s going to help a lot.

“I did come to Durham a few years back when I was a young boy. I was young and I didn’t have enough cricket behind me. They had a good team and it’s hard to get in anywhere. It was one of those things, but I know the system and the city, it’s nice to be back again. Playing as an overseas player in a T20 competition is a great honour.”

The leg-spinner will play his first match at Emirates Riverside as a Durham player tomorrow, hoping to extract some revenge for Yorkshire’s 44-run victory last Thursday.

Tahir is hopeful he can use the ground to his advantage, along with the conditions provided by the recent heatwave to drive the Jets to their second win on the spin.

“I’m pretty sure the guys know where we went wrong against Yorkshire in the first game,” he said. “We need to learn from what we did wrong and make sure we get it right for the game – we’re really looking forward to it. The ground being big gives me a little bit of an advantage as a spinner, but the wickets are generally very flat.

“It’s still a challenge and you can just think because it’s a big ground you’re going to bowl however and the wickets will come. We still have to work hard and go with our plans. It has been pretty hot so I hope there is something for the spinner. If not, I’m used to it and you’ve got to be able to adapt.”