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Tahir eligible for Proteas

Pakistan-born spinner gains South African citizenship

Tahir: Can play for South Africa

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Pakistan-born leg spinner Imran Tahir is eligible to play for South Africa with immediate effect after being granted citizenship in his adopted country.

Tahir was picked by the Proteas to play against England in January 2010 before having to be withdrawn from the squad because he had not completed residency requirements.

But Cricket South Africa have now announced that the 31-year-old has fulfilled all the necessary regulations to be able to represent his new country.

"Imran Tahir, the former Pakistan A team leg-spinner, is now fully eligible to play cricket for South Africa following the decision by the South African government to grant him permanent residency," CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said


"He also qualifies in terms of the International Cricket Council regulations to be eligible to play for South Africa after his four-year break between last playing for Pakistan A and playing in South Africa for this period.

"Imran has made South Africa his home and has been married for some time to a South African.

"He has been a leading wicket-taker in the top South African domestic competitions for the past few seasons and is highly respected by both his colleagues and his opponents.

"He certainly becomes a contender for selection to the Proteas squad now that he has met all the government, ICC and CSA regulations regarding his new nationality."

Tahir has taken 535 wickets in 127 first-class matches throughout his career and has been a standout performer on the South African domestic front. He has also played for English counties Hampshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and Middlesex.