Proteas slow bowler Imran Tahir ready to call time on his international ODI career

South Africa's premier spin bowler Imran Tahir has announced that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the World Cup in England later this year.
South Africa's premier spin bowler Imran Tahir has announced that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the World Cup in England later this year.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Proteas slow bowler Imran Tahir will call time on his international ODI career after the World Cup in England to make way for younger spinners.

Tahir‚ who together with JP Duminy and Chris Morris were not offered new contracts recently‚ said the decision was the biggest of his life and it came after he reached a mutual agreement with Cricket South Africa (CSA).

“I have always wanted to play at the World Cup and it will be a great achievement for me to do that for this great team‚ but we had a mutual understanding with CSA‚” he said.

“I would have liked to play as long as I could but there is a stage in your life where you have to take a big decision and this is definitely the biggest decision of my life.

"I also think that there are a couple of spinners in the country who deserves the opportunity.

"If I have a great World Cup‚ I will be grateful to God but I have made up my mind.

“I always wanted to finish after the world cup and I am contracted until then.

"After that CSA will allow me to go wherever I want to play in other leagues around the world and I also want to T20 cricket for South Africa because I have the ability and can still make a contribution.

"This move will give me opportunities to play T20 cricket around the world and I also want to give back what I have.

"I am grateful of what I got from CSA and that’s where we are at the moment.

The right-arm leg spinner claimed three wickets for the Proteas in the convincing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first of the five-match series at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Tahir‚ who has played 95 ODIs and claimed 156 for the Proteas since he made his debut against the West Indies in 2011‚ said he is available to play T20 cricket for the team because he can still make a contribution in the shortest format of the game.

“If I play T20 cricket for the Proteas I can give a lot because it is a shorter format‚" he said.

"If I continue playing 50 overs cricket‚ it is hard for guys like Tabraiz Shamsi‚ Aaron Phangiso‚ Shaun von Berg and Dane Piedt.

"There are a lot of guys in SA who needs to be given opportunities.

"I don’t want to lose my spot now but I need to work double the amount in the ODIs because they are younger than me.

"I just want to be honest‚ I didn’t want to leave but it is how it is.”

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