South Africa’s leg-spinner Imran Tahir has announced that he will retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup 2019. The 50-over tournament to held in England and Wales will be his last appearance for South Africa in ODI cricket. However, the 39-year-old wishes to continue playing T20Is for South Africa.
Imran Tahir is contracted with Cricket South Africa until July 31 this year. He wishes to represent the nation in the shortest format of the game and hopes to be around until the 2020 T20 World Cup.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup. It would be a great achievement for me to play for this great team. I have a mutual understanding with Cricket South Africa and going forward I decided that I would finish at the World Cup, that is why I am contracted until then,” Imran Tahir was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“After that, Cricket South Africa has allowed me to go and play around the world in various leagues but I would also love to play T20 cricket for South Africa. I think I have the ability and can play a role in T20 cricket for South Africa. I am grateful for the opportunity,” he added.
From 2011 to 2019
Imran Tahir had made his debut for South Africa in the 2011 ODI World Cup. He made an immediate impact by picking up 4 wickets in the debut game against West Indies. The leg-spinner claimed 15 wickets in the tournament. Since then, he has been a vital cog in South Africa’s wheel in limited overs cricket.
In the 2015 ODI World Cup, he played a pivotal role in South Africa’s campaign that ended in the semi-final. The 2019 edition will be his 3rd assignment in the prestigious tournament. So far, he has represented South Africa in 95 ODIs in which he took 156 wickets. From 37 T20Is, he has 62 wickets. Also, he took 57 wickets from 20 Tests.
Tahir has now decided to make way for future prospects of the country. He feels that the decision is a hard one yet the time is right. The Pakistan-born mentioned that there are a couple of good spinners waiting in the wings for which he would make space.
“I would love to play for as long as I can. But there is a stage in your life where you have to make big decisions, this is one of those big decisions, it is definitely the biggest decision of my life. I also feel there are a couple of good spinners in the country who need the opportunity. We are fighting for the same spot, but looking to the future, they will have more opportunities to play for South Africa,” added the leggie.