Tahir's selection shocker

2010-01-10 22:31

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Imran Tahir does not know which way to turn as his excitement at being picked for the national cricket team turned into a massive disappointment when he lost his place a day later.

Tahir (30) was on Friday unexpectedly picked for the 15-man squad for the fourth test against England, which starts at the Wanderers on Thursday.

The expectation was not that he would play, but that it was simply done so that he could get acquainted with the national set-up for the tour to India later this month.

He was a certainty for that tour as Proteas coach Mickey Arthur views him as an aggressive leg-spinner that can be an important weapon on the spin-friendly pitches of the sub-continent.

“My attorney is busy investigating the matter and solving the problems. I arrived in South Africa in 2006 – about three-and-a-half years ago – and was never aware that I would require a South African passport,” said Tahir.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola said that he had taken the decision to withdraw the former Pakistani as there was uncertainty over whether he was available for South Africa.

“He has already qualified to play for South Africa, but he does not yet have a passport and we don’t want to end up in a similar situation as SA Rugby when questions were asked about Beast Mtawarira,” said Majola.

Majola expressed his unhappiness with the national selectors as they had been told that Tahir should not be part of their plans.

Majola could not supply a reason why Tahir, who is married to a South African woman from Durban, does not yet have a South African passport.

It is understood that he had already met the residency requirements to be available for South Africa in April last year.

There is a different theory that suggests he will only be available this April and that a mistake was made with the residency requirements as stated by the International Cricket Council.

Tahir, who has played for the Titans since living in South Africa, has decided to cut ties with the franchise. As of the beginning of next season he will be a member of the Dolphins.


  • Miked - 2010-01-10 22:53

    It is quite amazing and disgusting that our administrators - rugby & cricket cannot get a simple matter like this sorted out prior to selection of players. Just as players are dropped from teams for non performance these fat cats should also be dropped with immediate effect. It is now becoming quite embarrassing to be a South African supporter when things like this happen with alarming regulatory Shame on you administrators!!!!!!

  • Tony - 2010-01-10 23:24

    Hello what's this then.after all the snidy comments about sa people playing for England, suddenly sa wants to play pakistanis. Just proves that even holier than though suckers like sa will play anyone when it suits them. Let's hear from the big mouths from other threads who have rambled on about subject. Me thinks your squad looks paper thin and England will make it 2-0.

  • Gunnar Strom - 2010-01-11 00:20

    Soccer & rugby had done it a bit earlier. We should have anticipated cricket to follow suit. Gunnar

  • Adri Smit - 2010-01-11 06:29

    It's my understanding according to news reports that CSA don't see Imran as a player of coulor. Can they please tell what is a player of coulor?Is'nt a player like Gibbs, Prince and Peterson more white than Imran? Am I black now? It just show how absurd this coulor thing is. It's time to select on merit!

  • Wes - 2010-01-11 07:39

    @ Adri Smit I suggest you learn how to spell before making comments on this site... lol What exactly is 'coulor' bwahahahahahaha

  • Surprised - 2010-01-11 07:45

    What a shocker? Can't say i am surprised!! SA cricket are so desperate that they want to play players of colour from other countries! Useless! They do not feel any shame, they are too thick to feel anything. Sign of things to come as SA cricket slide just like bafanny bafanny!

  • wozg - 2010-01-11 08:18

    @Miked - one player with overseas roots, England been doing it for years, lamb, long ago was that??? When did this article become a report on the SA england series? Big Baby!

  • Centurion - 2010-01-11 08:24

    What a pity? Tahir is a class act and would have made a huge difference to the attack. Now this means that Harris will probably (undeservedly)retain his place. Shouldn't another spinner (like Smit from the Dolphins) be selected? "Surprised", what are you on about? What does colour have to do with any of this?

  • Charlie - 2010-01-11 08:29

    Where will the SA players stay when they tour to Pakistan? With their mothers!

  • Andrew - 2010-01-11 08:39

    @ least Adri is trying to make a valid point, unlike you, plonker...I suggest you learn to stick to the subject at hand before making useless comments on this site..Plank. I am assuming this player has a valid SA work permit to play for his franchise, if this is the case why does he need an SA passport? A passport is mainly just a way to record your international movements and not an indicator to citizenship per se..I have SA I.D. book that says SA citizen and I consider myself South African but I have a British passport too..So, if I was talented enough to play for SA at anything, I wouldnt be able to unless I gave up my British passport, even though I spent 98% of my life here? That's just ridiculous !! Let him play, he's gotta be better than Harris !!

  • James - 2010-01-11 12:19

    Andrew, well said. Some comments here are ridiculous. If he is good enough and qualified for SA, then play him. His colour is of no issue. He has been in the Proteas sights for a while now and if its the first you have heard of him, go back to your sudoku. Either add positive input or off.

  • Amos - 2010-01-11 13:29

    I wonder what has happened to the 'PURE Proteas' title on the adverts of the current test series with England. SA shot itself in the foot by trying to get to the English phsyco by branding then like a world eleven team. SA has had players from other countries before, Southern Rodhesia (Zim). Now that Tahir has been invited, what do we call this team? 80% Proteas, or mixture with a wild one. Let the English win this series, they are true cricketers and that is what we want as the fans of good cricket.

  • mad hatter - 2010-01-11 13:42

    Get the passport and play him !

  • Sarel - 2010-01-11 13:51

    So after all the jokes and abuse that have been hurled at the English for having overseas players in their team, the best our selectors could come up with was to look at replacing Rhodesian-born Harris with Pakistani-born Tahir?

  • Freddie - 2010-01-11 14:24

    @wozg As have South Africa - we've fielded plenty of overseas players over the years - the latest example of which is the Rhodesian / Zimbabwean who has been one of the '100% Proteas' all series.

  • Richard - 2010-01-11 14:26

    It is very simple. Our administrators should know the requirements for him playing for SA and be able to make the decision based on those requirements. If they can't manage to establish what those requirements are, then I agree that these plonkers should be dropped for non-performance. At least the poor guy doesn't play Athletics!

  • Richard - 2010-01-11 14:27

    It is very simple. Our administrators should know the requirements for him playing for SA and be able to make the decision based on those requirements. If they can't manage to establish what those requirements are, then I agree that these plonkers should be dropped for non-performance. At least the poor guy doesn't play Athletics!

  • thabo - 2010-01-11 14:27

    Has anybody been to home affairs to apply and get a passport . Its is so poor it has to be a joke .

  • Miked - 2010-01-11 16:59

    @wozg - I hasve read & re read my post and cannot see a single reference to ANY test series. What are you smoking or sniffing.

  • Chris - 2010-01-11 17:09

    Am I the only one that finds it funny that there is an advert for 'Pure Protea 100% South African' right next to this blog?

  • Cyril Savage - 2010-01-11 23:02

    Howzit howzit, all this talk of "pure proteas" etc etc. Adolf Hitler would be proud. There are quite a few SA players who were born elsewhere, Steve Elworthy and Harris were both born in Zim (though Harris isnt exactly the best advert for Zim cricket). But is it SO difficult that a selector can't know if a person is eligible to play? "Do you have a passport son?" Case closed till we get you one... (and I bet those selectors are earning a fat packet for the job that they are not doing.

  • Houston - 2010-01-12 07:38

    talking of shockers, have a read of this

  • Ian - 2010-01-12 16:19

    At best it can only be 91% Pure Protea as Harris was born in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe

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