Imran Tahir. Photo: ICC Media Zone

Imran Tahir. Photo: ICC Media Zone

Tahir, 42, believes he’s ‘fit enough’ to play for Proteas at T20 World Cup

Veteran spinner Imran Tahir has again suggested he is still capable of playing for the Proteas in this year’s T20 World Cup.

Imran Tahir. Photo: ICC Media Zone

Imran Tahir. Photo: ICC Media Zone

Although Tahir may be 42-years-old, he has continued to play in different T20 competitions around the world. The former Proteas superstar retired from ODI cricket in 2019, but the wrist spinner has repeatedly said he’s still available in the shortest white-ball format.


Having played in 38 T20Is for South Africa, Tahir has taken 63 wickets at an average of 15.04 with his last T20I appearance coming in March 2019.

Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj were backed as the two frontline spin options for the Proteas at last year’s T20 World Cup, but Tahir has again put his hand up for a surprise selection.

“I am still available for selection in T20Is. I believe I am fit enough to play in the T20 World Cup (in Australia),” Tahir told Pakistan publication GeoNews.

“I hope that [the] selectors will consider my performances around the world. If they do, I am sure they’ll find me a deserving candidate.”

Tahir previously hit out at Proteas coach Mark Boucher

In September last year, Tahir dramatically stated that the lack of communication and his ultimate omission from the Proteas’ T20 World Cup squad was “really sad” and that he felt disrespected and “worthless”.

Tahir was not part of the extended 18-man squad that went to the global tournament, with other stalwarts such as Chris Morris and Faf du Plessis also excluded.

In an exclusive interview with IOL Sport, Tahir revealed how he received no communication from Proteas coach Mark Boucher, battled to get any answers from convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang, and was misled by director of cricket Graeme Smith.


He is still South Africa’s second-highest T20I wicket-taker.

“I am not feeling great that I am not in the squad. Last year (2020) Graeme Smith spoke to me and said I want you to play in the World Cup, which was in Australia. I said obviously I am available and excited and honoured because you give me respect. I am ready,“ Tahir told IOL Sport at the time.

“I am working hard and can you see my performances in all these leagues. He said that’s why he wants me. He also said he was going to speak to a few other guys like AB [de Villiers] and Faf [du Plessis]. They put me on the Proteas group and everything, but then nobody contacted me,” said Tahir.

“After a few months I texted Smith and Boucher and nobody replied to me. Since Boucher has become coach he has not contacted me once to tell me what his plans are. It’s really sad, man. I served the country for 10 years, I think I deserve a little more respect than these guys thinking I’m worthless.”