Imran Tahir will not be taking part in the 2020/21 Big Bash League after pulling out of the tournament for personal reasons. The South Africa leg-spinner was due to arrive in Australia to play for the Melbourne Renegades. However, the team has now confirmed that he will not be joining them for the tournament.
"Unfortunately, Imran is not coming for personal reasons. He's a great player so it is a loss," said the Melbourne Renegades head coach Michael Klinger.
"But at the same time, we've seen Noor Ahmad a couple of games ago, a bowler who people haven't seen that much, it might actually work in our favour. He'll now be able to play a fair chunk of that back end of the season with Imad Wasim," explained Klinger.
Imran Tahir's flight from South Africa to Australia was delayed. With overseas players required to undergo a 14-day quarantine after flying into the country, the chances of him playing this season were already very slim. Tahir was signed by the Melbourne Renegades to bolster their spin-bowling options for the season.
The 41-year-old leg-spinner is considered to be one of the best spin bowlers in T20 cricket. His absence will be a big blow to the already struggling Renegades.
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Melbourne Renegades' woes continue as Imran Tahir pulls out, Nabi off on international duty
Imran Tahir is not the only player the Melbourne Renegades will have to make do without. Mohammad Nabi is also expected to leave for international duty with Afghanistan ahead of their series against Ireland. Imad Wasim could also be called up by Pakistan for their upcoming series against South Africa in January.
The absence of Tahir and Nabi means there will be more opportunities for 15-year-old Noor Ahmad, who made his BBL debut earlier this year. The Afghanistan wristspinner took the wicket of Peter Handscomb and conceded just 27 runs in his four overs against the Hobart Hurricanes.