Manchester: South Africa’s Imran Tahir is readying himself for an emotional farewell to one-day international cricket, although the veteran is upbeat about the Proteas’ future.
Saturday’s World Cup match against reigning champions Australia is set to be Tahir’s 107th and last ODI before the leg-spinner bows out of the 50-over game at international level.
Born in Pakistan but married to a South African, the much-travelled Tahir made his ODI debut in February 2011, just a month before his 32nd birthday.
But the 40-year-old has still taken 172 ODI wickets heading into this weekend’s match in Manchester.
This has been a disappointing World Cup for South Africa, with just two wins from eight games so far and the Proteas have long been out of the race for semi-final qualification.
“As a team, we need to think about finishing on a good note,” he said. “But it makes me feel very sad and emotional that I’m going to leave.
“It was always my dream to play international cricket and I’m really grateful to everyone who helped me along on the way. They accepted me for who I was, the guy who came from overseas.
“It’s a big moment of my life — I always wanted to play cricket and play as long as I could and now is the right time to go. It will be quite a hurtful and sad moment for me but I’ve prepared myself for that, so hopefully it will go well for me and the team.”...