South African spinner takes huge ODI decision
South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir will retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup but hopes to play more international T20s.
The 39-year-old, who took 3-26 against Sri Lanka on Sunday as South Africa claimed an eight-wicket victory in the first ODI, will step away from the 50-over format in the summer.
His contract with Cricket South Africa runs until 31 July, after which he will make himself available for T20 franchise cricket.
He feels the time is right to allow younger spin talents to emerge for South Africa, although he will continue to make himself available for the Proteas' Twenty20 side.
Tahir has taken 156 wickets at 24.56 from his 95 ODI appearances and is expected to be a key player for South Africa when they arrive in England for the 2019 World Cup.
"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.
"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."
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