Imran Tahir

South African cricket has seen a catalogue of fine talents poached by rival test nations, but the Proteas selectors were reluctant to poach back — until Imran Tahir forced a change in policy. The Pakistani-born legspinner plundered so many wickets in four years of domestic cricket that his claim could not be ignored.

Tahir’s Proteas one-day international debut in February 2011 was destructive. He claimed four sticks against the West Indies in Delhi. He currently boasts a fearsome ODI bowling average of 10.71. Armed with four different deliveries disguised by the same action, the exuberant Tahir offers a package of guile, persistence and accuracy, rivaling Shane Warne in his pomp. Masterful legspinners like Tahir are a rare commodity.

So when pitches turn on future tours of the Indian subcontinent, we know Tahir can be relied on to reward the department of home affairs richly for declaring him a citizen of this republic.

— Carlos Amato

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