T20 Blast 2019: Evergreen Imran Tahir to play for Surrey
He might be 40 but South Africa’s Pakistan-born spinner Imran Tahir is never short of the energy to perform. The cricketing world enjoys his wide celebrations after picking wickets and the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 saw a number of such occasions as the leg-spinner ended up as the highest wicket-taker with 26 scalps. Tahir pipped his compatriot Kagiso Rabada who was ahead in the list but was pipped by the former after getting ruled out of the tournament with an injury.
Tahir, who has announced about taking retirement from ODIs after the upcoming World Cup, is now set to join Surrey for the entire season of this year’s Vitality Blast, a professional T20 league in England and Wales. He hence becomes the club’s second overseas signing for the 2019 edition of the T20 tournament after Australia’s Aaron Finch who is returning to represent the club for the fourth year.
Tahir will join Surrey soon after conclusion of World Cup
Tahir will join the Surrey squad before the club plays their opening game versus Essex in Chelmsford on July 19, five days after the World Cup final takes place. The Vitality Blast will kick off on July 18.
Tahir, whose Chennai Super Kings finished the runners-up in the IPL by losing to Mumbai Indians by one run in the final, has played T20 cricket extensively around the globe. He has played in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Indies, England beside his own country South Africa and has 303 scalps from 249 matches at an average of less than 21. In international cricket, Tahir has 282 wickets from 20 Tests, 98 ODIs and 38 T20Is.
“I’m always looking for new and exciting opportunities. That’s how I see the chance to play with one of the most talented playing groups in county cricket,” Tahir was quoted as saying by Surrey County Cricket Club’s official website kiaoval.com.
“When I heard Alec Stewart had asked after me, it was an easy decision. Surrey are a massive club and it will be great if I can contribute to helping them win another trophy this summer at the Kia Oval.”
Surrey Director of Cricket Alec Stewart, a former England captain, said: “Imran is a proven match winner and with his vast experience of international, county and franchise cricket will be a huge asset to us.”