Pakistan-born spinner eligible for South Africa
CAPE TOWN Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been granted South African citizenship and is eligible to represent the country, Cricket South Africa announced on Saturday.
In a statement CSA said Tahir had been granted citizenship by naturalisation on Friday and had fulfilled all the International Cricket Council's regulations for selection by his new country.
Tahir, 31, represented Pakistan Under-19 and Pakistan A before marrying a South African woman and settling in South Africa.
But he has not played for any Pakistan representative team for more than four years, which means he can play for another country in terms of ICC rules.
Tahir was selected for South Africa's squad for the fourth Test against England last season but had to be withdrawn when it was discovered his papers were not in order.
A leg-spinner who turns the ball sharply and bowls an effective googly, Tahir will be a strong candidate for South African selection.
In a first-class career which started in 1996/97 he has played for 11 different first-class teams, including four English counties, and has taken 535 first-class wickets at an average of 25.09.
Tahir, who plays for the Dolphins, is the leading wicket-taker in South Africa's domestic SuperSport Series competition this season, with 30 in four matches at an average of 22.00.
AFP: Pakistan-born spinner eligible for South Africa