New Delhi, Mar 4 : South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir will retire from One Day Internationals (ODIs) after the forthcoming World Cup which is slated to begin from May 30 in England and Wales, Cricket South Africa said on Monday.
"Standard Bank Proteas leg-spinner, Imran Tahir, has confirmed the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be his final appearance for South Africa in One-Day International (ODI) cricket," Cricket South Africa said in a statement.
"Tahir is currently contracted to Cricket South Africa (CSA) until July 31st, and will re-assess his freelance future following the tournament," The board added.
The 39-year-old spinner said, he would still like to play T20 International cricket for the Proteas ahead of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, but would like to open up more opportunities for other fledging spinners in the country in the 50-over format, Cricket South Africa quoted him as saying.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup,” he said. “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, Cricket South Africa quoted him as saying.
“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.
“I would love to play for as long as I can,” he admitted. “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.”
The spinner made his ODI debut at Feroz Saha Kotla Stadium in New Delhi in 2011against West Indies. So far, he has played 95 ODIs for South Africa in which he took 156 wickets at an average of 24.56. He bagged five-wicket hauls thrice in the format.
He has also appeared in 37 T20Is and 20 Tests, clamming 62 and 57 wickets, respectively. UNI