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Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir

South Africa South Africa

personal information

BORN March 27, 1979
BIRTH PLACE Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
ROLE Bowler
BOWLING STYLE Leg break googly
Bowling 29
All Rounder


Since his first-class debut in 1996-97, Imran Tahir has constantly been on the move. Starting with Lahore in Pakistan, to Titans in South Africa, he also went on to play for the English counties of Middlesex, Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Hampshire.

Throughout his career, Tahir, a leg break bowler, made sporadic appearances for each of these teams which alone suggested that he failed to stick to one place for a longer time and did not live up to his own potential. However, his first-class record was impressive and that earned him a call-up to South Africa's Test squad for their home series against England in 2010. But, on the same day, the decision to include him in the side was overturned as it was found that Tahir was not eligible to play for South Africa at that point of time.

The Pakistan-born Tahir, however, continued to impress at the domestic level for Dolphins. He was finally granted South African citizenship in 2011, before being picked for the ODIs against India, albeit he did not play a single game. Tahir made his ODI debut against West Indies in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and immediately shot to fame with his crafty leg-spin which helped him conjure figures of 4 for 41. The juggernaut continued as he scalped 14 wickets from five matches before a thumb fracture ruled him out of the tournament. However, a Test debut came later in the year against Australia, and he had a decent start to it before he endured one of the worst phases of his cricketing career in Adelaide. He was taken to the cleaners by the Australian batsmen and ended up with the worst bowling figures in the history of Test cricket - 0/260. He was dropped after that and was replaced by Robin Peterson.

Nearly a year later, a determined Tahir made his comeback in a grand manner with his maiden Test five-wicket haul against Pakistan in Dubai. He ended up with eight wickets in the match and helped South Africa level the two-match series 1-1. Fame was, however, short-lived as Tahir couldn't trouble the touring Indians even a wee bit and was attacked by them in the first Test in Johannesburg.

Imran Tahir proved his credentials in the 2015 ICC World Cup. In a tournament believed to be for the pacers, he ended up with 15 scalps at an average of 21.53. Having known to turn his googly more than his leg spin, Tahir can become an even better bowler if he adds this one dimension to his style of bowling.

More recently though, Tahir has found a new love for the limited-over formats of the game. He has been terrific in the shortest version for the national side as well as his franchise in various T20 Leagues. In 2018, he was selected in the Chennai team for the Indian T20 League and was a massive performer for them in the two editions in 2018 and 2019, firstly as champions and then as runners-up respectively.

Thus, Imran will always be one of the premium spinners that South Africa has produced. He is not getting any younger but his enthusiasm for the game is unparalleled. The day he leaves, his celebration of running from one end to the other end of the ground will be really missed.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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