Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently announced their 15-member squad (+3 additional reserves) for the 2021 T20 World Cup set to take place in UAE. While many teams have recalled their experienced players back for the mega event (Ravichandran Ashwin for India, Ravi Rampaul for West Indies), the Proteas have taken am absolutely different route altogether as they left out the experienced trio of Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir from the squad.
The exclusion of Tahir comes as a major shock for everyone considering the fact that the World Cup is being played in UAE, where spinners are expected to play a big role. The 42-year-old is a proven leg-spinner in the shortest format of the game, where he has scalped 63 wickets in 38 matches for the national side at a frugal economy of only 6.73.
Tahir is disappointed to miss out on T20 WC squad
He also has impressive numbers in various T20 leagues across the globe but despite that, Tahir did not find his name in the final squad traveling to UAE. Reflecting on the same, he said, "I am not feeling great that I am not in the squad. Last year Graeme Smith spoke to me and said I want you to play in the World Cup, which was in Australia. I said obviously I am available and excited and honoured because you give me respect. I am ready," as quoted by IOL Sport.
“I am working hard and can you see my performances in all these leagues. He said that’s why he wants me. He also said he was going to speak to a few other guys like AB (de Villiers) and Faf (du Plessis). They put me on the Proteas group and everything, but then nobody contacted me,” he added.
I think I deserve a little more respect: Imran Tahir
The 42-year-old also revealed that he texted Smith and Boucher and nobody replied to him. He said, "Since Boucher has become coach he has not contacted me once to tell me what his plans are. It’s really sad man. I served the country for a 10 years, I think I deserve a little more respect than these guys thinking I’m worthless.”
Tahir told that he even spoke to South Africa's captain Temba [Bavuma], who asked him to talk to selection convenor Victor Mptisang. "Victor eventually spoke to me and said he will let me know. But then after a couple of months again I heard nothing,” Tahir concluded.