South Africa spinner Imran Tahir has announced that the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup would mark his final appearance in One-Day Internationals. The 39-year-old legspinner confirmed the development on Monday (March 4), stating that he wishes to make way for the next generation of South Africa’s spinners in the 50-over format.
Tahir, who stated his intention to continue in T20 Internationals at least until the 2020 T20 World Cup, is currently contracted to Cricket South Africa until July 31 and will reassess his freelance future following the tournament.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup,” Tahir 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.”
“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,” he added.
The 2019 World Cup in England and Wales will be Tahir’s third appearance in the showpiece 50-over event. He has represented South Africa in 95 ODIs, taking 156 wickets at an average of 24.56. Tahir also has 37 T20I and 20 Test appearances, claiming 62 and 57 wickets respectively.
“I would love to play for as long as I can,” Tahir said. “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.”