Imran Tahir To Retire From ODI After The Upcoming World Cup
On Monday (4 March), the South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir has revealed when he will take the ODI retirement. He has claimed that the upcoming World Cup will be his final ODI assignment.
The Pakistan born cricketer started his international career very late, mainly due to the nationality reason. Despite the fact of making international debut at an older age, he still had a very successful international career.
At the age of almost 32-year-old, the leg-spinner made his international debut in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Starting his international career as a surprise package of South Africa national cricket team, soon he became the regular player.
After the eight-year-long international career, Imran Tahir has now clarified about his retirement from ODIs. While he has the present contract with Cricket South Africa (CSA) till July 31, he will sign off his ODI career after playing the upcoming World Cup.
Imran Tahir said, “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.”
England and Wales will host the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup from 30 May to 14 July. Including South Africa, a total of ten teams will participate in this competition. South Africa will play the opening match of the tournament against the host side England at The Oval (London) on 30 May.
Still wants to play T20 cricket for South Africa
After completion of the present contract, Imran Tahir will be free to participate in the various global T20 leagues. However, he still wants to serve for South Africa in the T20I format. He is confident of making the impact in the T20 cricket for South Africa.
He added, “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.”
Imran Tahir’s brief international career
Imran Tahir was the former no.1-ranked ODI and T20I bowler. While his last Test was in December 2015, he is still an active limited-overs cricketer, especially in ODI format. The leg-spinner has played 20 Tests, 95 ODIs and 37 T20Is where he has picked up 57, 156 and 62 wickets respectively.
Picking up 273 wickets in the international career, Imran Tahir has become the only South African spinner to pick up 200 or more international wickets.
In last October, Imran Tahir became the fourth South African cricketer to claim an ODI hat-trick. On 3 October 2018, he achieved that hat-trick against Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein. At that moment, he dismissed Sean Williams, Peter Moor and Brandon Mavuta in three consecutive deliveries.
It is definitely the biggest decision of my life
Talking about his ODI retirement, the 39-year-old leg-spinner admitted that it was the biggest decision of his life. He has also given the best wishes to the future generation.
Imran Tahir quoted, “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.”
Undoubtedly, South Africa and world cricket will miss Imran Tahir in his post-cricket career, especially for his bowling and the famous long-run celebration.
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