"I deserve a little more respect," says Imran Tahir after being ignored from South Africa's T20 World Cup squad

Along with Imran Tahir, Faf du Plessis was also not picked in the 15-man squad for the World Cup.

Imran Tahir | GETTY

South Africa on Thursday (September 9) named their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. They named Temba Bavuma as the captain of the squad.

Veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir missed out on selection, along with all-rounder Chris Morris and former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis. They picked Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams, and George Linde as reserve players. 

Tahir feels he deserved a little more respect from the team management who didn't consider him for the mega ICC event. He also revealed Mark Boucher, the head coach, had no communication with him on his T20 World Cup plans. 

ALSO READ: South Africa squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 announced; no Tahir or Du Plessis

"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," said Tahir in an interview to IOL Sport on Friday (September 10).

"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," added Tahir.

"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."

Tahir didn't have a proper conversation with the team selector and head coach. He had tried to reach out to captain Temba Bavuma who told him to contact the selector Victor Mpitsang.

"I spoke to Temba and he said he has a meeting with Boucher the following week. Temba came back to me with a message from Boucher that I must speak to Victor. I again tried to reach him (Mpitsang) and he tried to call me on my WhatsApp number. But he didn't realise WhatsApp doesn't work in Dubai. Victor eventually spoke to me and said he will let me know. But then after a couple of months again I heard nothing," he said.

The 42-year-old has no plans to quit international cricket and he's looking forward to the next World Cup. Tahir even made a tweet after being ignored from the T20 World Cup squad. 

"I want to tell the people of South Africa my story because I played with my heart. Whether people accept me as a South African or not, I am South African. My wife is South African and my family is South African. My child is born in South Africa, so it's home to me.

"I have always wanted to win a World Cup for South Africa to say thank you for the opportunity this country has given me, so I am not planning on retiring. I am going to play until 50 if I have to," he said. 

(With IANS Inputs)


By Sihyeu Singh - 11 Sep, 2021

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