His match-winning spell in the first ODI against Sri Lanka will have Proteas supporters hoping he’ll play till he’s 45, but Imran Tahir is still planning to call it quits after this year’s World Cup.
Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s skipper, had noted how the 39-year-old was back to doing what he does best in “single-handedly” turning games into the national team’s favour.
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Indeed, his haul of three for 26 was impressive enough for even the eternally humble Tahir to admit that he “felt really good”.
But his omission from Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) new national contract list last week is still an indication that he’s waving goodbye in June.
“I always wanted to play in the World Cup and it would be a great achievement for me to play for this great team,” said Tahir.
“But we had a mutual understanding, CSA and I, that I would be finishing after the World Cup. My contract is until then. After that, I’m allowed to pursue any T20 tournament I wish.”
However, it doesn’t mean Tahir won’t be seen in a Proteas shirt ever again.
“I actually want to continue playing T20 cricket for South Africa. I still feel I’ve got the ability and a role to play in the format. I’m grateful for the opportunities I got. This is where we’re at at the moment,” he said.
While the eternally fit leggie “wants to still play for as long as I can”, he does believe that his continued presence in 50-over cricket might become a hindrance.
“There are a couple of good spinners in the country who need the opportunity,” Tahir said.