South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir will retire from ODI cricket after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
Tahir is a part of the Proteas side in ongoing series against Sri Lanka – and took three crucial wickets in the first ODI at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.
He announced his retirement from the 50 over format on Sunday after South Africa’s eight-wicket win over the Islanders.
“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup,” said Tahir. “It would be a great achievement for me to play for this great team. I have a mutual understanding with Cricket South Africa and 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.
“I would love to play for as long as I can,” the 39-year-old 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.”
Tahir will continue to play the T20I format for the team and will be eyeing a spot at next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Till now, he has represented South Africa in 95 ODIs and has taken 156 wickets at an average of 24.56.