Tahir in World Cup squad
Imran Tahir has been added to South Africa's preliminary World Cup squad little more than a week after being granted citizenship.
Last Updated: 10/01/11 10:46am
Imran Tahir has been added to South Africa's preliminary World Cup squad little more than a week after being granted citizenship of the country.
The highly-rated leg spinner had already been included in the Proteas' squad for the five-match one-day series against India starting this week.
Pakistan-born Tahir comes into the 30-man World Cup squad at the expense of another uncapped player, 20-year-old batsman Jonathan Vandiar - South Africa deciding their need for a quality attacking spinner is greater.
Tahir, 31, has been talked about as a future Proteas star for more than a year now, but was yet to legally qualify.
He was finally granted South African citizenship by naturalisation on January 1, prompting the selectors to immediately call him up.
"We feel that we need to widen our bowling options," convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said.
"I have discussed the matter with Jonathan and I would like to express my gratitude to him for withdrawing gracefully.
"He knows he is very much part of our plans going forward."
Tahir, who is married to a South African woman, was first called up over a year ago against England and then withdrawn because of uncertainty over his eligibility.
The Dolphins bowler has been a consistent first-class performer in recent seasons, both domestically and in the County Championship where he has played for Hampshire, Middlesex, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.
He has taken 42 wickets in five games so far during the SuperSport Series and has also claimed 15 wickets in the 40-over competition at an average of 17.