South Africa spinner Tahir to retire from ODIs after World Cup
Imran Tahir will retire from one-day internationals following the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the South Africa spinner has announced.
The 39-year-old hopes to continue playing Twenty20 matches for the Proteas, even though his contract with Cricket South Africa is set to expire at the end of July.
Tahir has made 95 ODI appearances and his figures of 7-45 against the West Indies in June 2016 remain the best by a South Africa bowler in the 50-over format.
The leg-spinner, who proved crucial to South Africa's eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first ODI on Sunday by taking 3-26, explained a desire to let the next generation progress was behind his decision to step away.
"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," said Tahir.
"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, 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."
#CSAnews The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be @ImranTahirSA's final ODI appearance. The 39-year-old will still be available for T20I but wants open up more opportunities for spinners in ODI cricket pic.twitter.com/ESifkd3Xu6— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 4, 2019