Imran Tahir has said that it’s not a great feeling to be excluded from the T20 World Cup squad even after serving the country for 10 years. Tahir was expected to make a comeback in the South Africa team but the selectors decided to give chances to Keshav Maharaj, Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi.
The committee wanted to be consistent in the selection and kept them away. "Imran has had a great run and is still successful but we were very confident in the current crop of spinners we are developing, we felt that they deserved the opportunity," selection convener Victor Mptisang was quoted as saying by News 24.
Now, 42-year-old Imran Tahir has revealed how Grame Smith had approached him last year and asked about his plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup. However, according to Tahir, he was never contacted thereafter and his messages to head coach Mark Boucher and Director of Cricket Smith were left unresponded.
"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," Tahir told IOL Sport.
"I am working hard and you can 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. After a few months I texted Smith and Boucher and nobody replied to me. 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 10 years, I think I deserve a little more respect than these guys thinking I'm worthless."
Alongside Imran Tahir, former Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis has also been excluded from the squad. The Pakistan-born leg spinner has played 38 T20Is for the Proteas and has a vast experience of playing T20 leagues around the globe.