South African Leg Spinner Imran Tahir has decided to retire from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup. The leg-spinner, who made the announcement following his match-winning 3 for 26 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, has stated that he will still be available for T20Is at least until the 2020 T20 World Cup.
- Would like to continue playing for South Africa in Twenty20 internationals.
Tahir, who will turn 40 later this month and is contracted to Cricket South Africa only until July 31, said that the decision was taken with a “mutual understanding” between the board and him.
He was not handed a contract for the 2019-20 season, which put a question mark over his long-term future in international cricket.
Tahir said retiring from one-day internationals was a difficult decision.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup,” Tahir said in a statement released by CSA.
“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.”
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.
Tahir has represented South Africa in 95 ODIs, taking 156 wickets at 24.56. He became the joint-fastest South African – Allan Donald and Morne Morkel being the others – to 150 ODI wickets during the match against Australia in Perth last year, achieving the feat in 89 matches.
Tahir, played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. He also played in the 2014 and 2016 World T20 tournaments.
His performance drew attention to the fact that he was not on the list of contracted players for the 2019/20 year released by Cricket South Africa last week.
Cricket South Africa on Friday didn’t renewed the contracts of front-line spinner Imran Tahir, and all-rounders J.P. Duminy and Chris Morris, for the 2019-20 season.
Imran and Duminy are expected to be part of South Africa’s World Cup squad in England starting in late May, but that could well be their swansongs after being overlooked for central contracts.
But Tahir revealed on Monday that he had reached an agreement with CSA for his contract to expire at the end of July, extending his 2018/19 contract by three months.
In a statement released by CSA, Tahir said he would re-assess his freelance future after the World Cup.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup,” he said. “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. 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.”