Imran Tahir to play for Durham in the Vitality Blast
One of the few players to play the dual life of a national side regular and a Twenty20 globetrotter, South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been signed up by Durham Jets for the 2018 season of the Vitality T20 Blast. He is coming fresh off a victorious campaign for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL before which he played for Multan Sultans earlier the year in the PSL. This will be the fourth English county Tahir will take the field for, having had stints with Derbyshire, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire in the past.
"He is one of the best leg-spinners in the world and will bring a different dimension to our game," head coach Jon Lewis told the Durham Cricket Club website.
"We wanted to invest in a top-quality player to improve our white ball squad and we feel that Imran demonstrates our ambition to compete in the T20 format."
Ranked #7 in the ICC T20I rankings, Tahir is one of the most prolific performers in the history of the format. In 203 matches, he has tallied 236 wickets and keeping a check on the runs at an average of 7.2 an over. He will relish the opportunity to bowl on the English pitches, which have gotten more conducive for spinners over the years and will have some interesting virtual face-offs against rival wrist-spinners Rashid Khan and Adam Zampa.
Tahir was eager to take part in the competition after his signing as he said, "I always enjoy playing in England and hope that my previous international and county experience can help make an impact."
Experience is one thing that he brings in plenty having played for just thirty-odd teams in competitive cricket.
The 39-year-old spinner will play the first 9 matches for Durham, starting with their tournament opener against Yorkshire on July 5. He will not let the intensity down a notch, knowing that later in the season, Tabraiz Shamsi will be turning out for South Africa in Sri Lanka at his expense (rested), and if he does well enough, the Proteas just might be tempted to include a left-arm wrist spinner in their plans for the World Cup next year.