Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir


About Imran Tahir

The age-old adage “patience is a virtue” certainly rings true in the case of Imran Tahir. Originally born in Pakistan, Tahir’s journey to represent South Africa in cricket had its fair share of twists. His initial selection to play for South Africa in a Test against England in January 2010 was met with a setback when it was revealed that he was not yet eligible to play for the Proteas. It wasn’t until January 2011 that Tahir finally met the requirements to qualify as a South African player. Fortunately for the talented leg-spinner, the wait to represent his adopted country was relatively short. He made his debut for the Proteas in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he made a significant impact with 14 wickets in the five matches he played during the tournament. Tahir’s ability to spin the ball added a valuable dimension to South Africa’s fielding capabilities in one-day international games. While he experienced a brief period on the sidelines in early 2012, he made a triumphant return as a regular member of the ODI side in late 2013. Tahir’s first-class career, which commenced in the 1996-97 season, has seen him represent more than 10 teams, including Lahore, Yorkshire, and the Titans in South Africa. During his international Test career, spanning 20 matches, Tahir showcased his prowess by taking 57 wickets, including two instances of achieving five-wicket hauls. His journey in the world of cricket is a testament to his resilience and skill.
Profile Details
Full Name Imran Tahir
Born March 27, 1979, Lahore, Punjab
Country South Africa
Role Bowler
Batting Style Right Handed Bat
Bowling Style Right-arm legbreak

Imran Tahir Career Statistics

Career Batting Stats

Format Matches (M) Innings (Inn) Not Outs (NO) Runs (R) High Score (HS) Average (Avg.) Balls Faced (BF) Strike Rate (SR) Hundreds (H) Fifties (50x) Fours (4s) Sixes (6s)

Career Bowling Stats

Format Matches (M) Innings (Inn) Balls (B) Runs (R) Wickets (W) BBM Average (Avg.) Economy (Econ.) Strike Rate (SR) 5W 10W
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Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir, New Zealand vs South Africa, One-Off T20i, 2017

Imran Tahir, the master of leg spin for South Africa national cricket team was give a significant contribution to the cricket history. In this article, let’s going beyond his stats, records, to his personal stories and any controversies around him.

Summary & Key Takeaways


Imran Tahir: A Spin Wizard’s Journey Through Cricket

Imran Tahir, West Indies vs South Africa, ODI-Tri Series, 2016

Mohammad Imran Tahir, born on March 27, 1979, in Lahore, Pakistan, is a name synonymous with passion and excellence in the world of cricket.

Known for his exuberant wicket-taking celebrations and a master of leg-spin, Tahir’s journey in cricket spans across continents, formats, and leagues, making him one of the most celebrated spinners in the modern era.

Early Career

Tahir’s cricketing journey began in Lahore, Pakistan. Despite representing Pakistan U-19 and A teams, he couldn’t break into the national side.

Seeking better opportunities, Tahir moved to South Africa, a nation then in need of quality spinners.

His early career was marked by perseverance and a relentless pursuit of excellence, laying the foundation for an illustrious future.

Domestic Career

Tahir’s domestic career is as diverse as it is long. He played for various teams, including Lahore in Pakistan, Hampshire, and Warwickshire in England, and Dolphins in South Africa.

His ability to adapt to different conditions and teams is a testament to his skill and mental fortitude.

International Career

Tahir debuted for South Africa in 2011 against West Indies, taking four wickets in his first match. He quickly made an impression, picking 14 wickets in just five games​​.

He finishing as South Africa’s second-highest wicket-taker. His international career spanned until 2019, during which he represented South Africa in all three formats, excelling particularly in the limited-overs games.

IPL and Other Franchises

Imran Tahir vs Lahiru Thirimanne, South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Cricket World Cup 2023

In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Tahir played for teams like Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings. His best performance came in 2019, where he claimed 26 wickets and won the Purple Cap.

Besides IPL, he also made significant contributions in other T20 leagues around the world, including the Caribbean Premier League and the Pakistan Super League.

Career Across Formats

Tahir’s versatility across formats is remarkable. In Tests, he played 20 matches, taking 57 wickets.

Despite a challenging Test match against Australia in 2012, where he had the worst bowling figures in Test history, Tahir made a strong comeback in 2013, taking eight wickets in a match against Pakistan​​.

In ODIs, he appeared in 107 games, claiming 173 wickets. He became the first South Africa bowler to take seven wickets in an ODI in 2016 and the fastest South African to reach 100 ODI wickets.

However, at 40, he became the oldest South African cricketer to play in a World Cup match and was the first spinner to bowl the first over in a World Cup match. He also played his 100th ODI during this tournament​​.

While in T20Is, he played 38 matches, taking 63 wickets. His ability to adapt his bowling style to suit each format played a crucial role in his success.

At the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, he was the joint highest wicket-taker and named man of the match against the Netherlands.

In the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final, he was instrumental in South Africa’s first-ever World Cup knockout win​​. Next, in 2020, Tahir was nominated for the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade award​​.

A Records List That Broken by Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir, Bangladesh vs South Africa, Cricket World Cup 2019

Imran Tahir, the South Africa spin wizard, has left an indelible mark in the world of cricket with his record-breaking performances.

His career, spanning from 2011 to 2019, is a testament to his skill and determination. Here’s a detailed look at some of his significant records:

Top Records

Test Matches:

  • Ranked 45th for the worst career economy rate at 3.50.
  • Conceded the 42nd most runs in a match with 260 runs.

One-Day Internationals (ODIs):

  •  Achieved 12th best figures in an innings with 7/45.
  • Holds the 11th spot for outstanding bowling analyses in an innings (7/45).
  • 17th best strike rate in an innings at 6.0.
  • 15th best figures in an innings on debut with 4 wickets.
  • 29th for the most five-wickets-in-an-innings in a career (3 times).
  • 29th for the most four-wickets-in-an-innings in a career (10 times).
  • 2nd oldest player to take five-wickets-in-an-innings at 39 years and 190 days.
  • 6th oldest player to take a maiden five-wickets-in-an-innings at 35 years and 337 days.
  • 36th for most wickets taken caught and bowled (10 wickets).
  • 24th for most wickets taken lbw (37 wickets).
  • 28th fastest to 50 wickets (in 28 matches).
  • 13th fastest to 100 wickets (in 58 matches).
  • 9th fastest to 150 wickets (in 89 matches).
  • 44th oldest player at 40 years and 101 days.

Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is):

  • 50th for most wickets in career with 63 wickets.
  • 20th best career bowling average at 15.04.
  • 16th best career strike rate at 13.4.
  • 9th for most four-wickets-in-an-innings in a career (4 times).
  • 16th for bowler/fielder combinations (10 combinations).
  • 27th for most wickets taken lbw (8 wickets).
  • 9th for most wickets taken stumped (10 wickets).
  • 8th fastest to 50 wickets (in 31 matches).

Imran Tahir’s Family: The Backbone of His Success

Imran Tahir vs Sandeep Lamichhane, Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, IPL 2020

Imran Tahir’s journey in cricket has been remarkable, and his family has played a significant role in his life. Here are some of key point abou his personal story beyond cricket field:

Immediate Family

  • Father: Ramzan Tahir.
  • Mother: Atiya Tahir.

Imran Tahir’s Personal Story

Imran Tahir’s journey from Pakistan to South Africa is not just a cricketing story but also a tale of love and personal sacrifices. His wife, Sumayya Dildar, originally from South Africa but of India origin.

The couple met when Imran was playing for Pakistan’s U-19 team in South Africa in 1988.

They got married in 2007 after a few years of dating. His wife also left her modeling career post their marriage. The couple’s blessed with a son named Gibran.

Imran Tahir’s Net Worth: Beyond the Wealth of South Africa’s Spinner

Imran Tahir vs Lahiru Thirimanne, South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Cricket World Cup 2023

Imran Tahir, the celebrated South African cricketer, has not only left a mark with his leg-spin bowling but also boasts a noteworthy financial profile.

Net Worth

As of 2023, Imran Tahir’s net worth is estimated to be $1 million. This figure represents his earnings from cricket, including his time in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and other income sources.

Cricket Earnings:

  • IPL Salary: Tahir has been a key player in the IPL, particularly for the Chennai Super Kings. His total IPL earnings amount to ₹75,000,000, with a 2021 salary of ₹10,000,000.


Tahir’s skill and popularity have earned him various endorsement deals. He has been associated with brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Pepsi. His deals with these brands have contributed significantly to his marketability and financial earnings.


Tahir owns a luxurious mansion in Lahore, Pakistan, equipped with modern amenities. His car collection includes high-end vehicles like the Lamborghini Aventador and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, reflecting his success and taste for luxury.

7 Controversy Involving Imran Tahir

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli vs Imran Tahir, India vs South Africa, 4th Test, 2015

Imran Tahir’s career has been marked not only by his skill as a leg-spinner but also by his emotional and expressive nature on the field. Here are some note-worthy moment of a high-octane situation on Tahir’s career:

1. T20 World Cup Snub – 2021

In September 2021, Imran Tahir expressed his disappointment over being excluded from South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad.

Tahir alleged that he had not received any communication about his future from the team management.

Despite being told by Graeme Smith, South Africa’s Director of Cricket, that he would be part of the T20 World Cup plans, Tahir claimed he was ignored by both Smith and head coach Mark Boucher.

Tahir, who retired from ODI cricket after the 2019 World Cup, stated he had no plans to retire from the shortest format and felt he deserved more respect after serving the country for over a decade.

2. Fiery Exchange with Colin Munro – 2020

Imran Tahir, known for his passionate celebrations after taking a wicket, was involved in a heated exchange with New Zealand batsman Colin Munro.

The incident occurred during a match between Islamabad United and Multan Sultans. Munro, apparently irked by Tahir’s exuberant celebration after catching him out, called Tahir a “clown,” leading to a fiery verbal altercation between the two.

Munro later commented on the incident, expressing his annoyance at Tahir’s celebratory style.

3. Catch Overturned in ICC World Cup – 2019

During the ICC World Cup 2019, a catch taken by Tahir against Pakistan was overturned by the third umpire after a review.

The incident left Tahir embarrassed as his initial celebration was cut short when replays showed the ball had touched the ground before being caught.

4. Alleged Abuse at Wanderers Stadium – 2018

In February 2018, Cricket South Africa initiated an investigation following allegations that Tahir was verbally and racially abused by a spectator during the fourth ODI against India at Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium.

Tahir was involved in an angry altercation with spectators, and CSA stated that he had been abused by an unknown man.

5. Harassment by Pakistan Consulate Officials – 2017

Imran Tahir complained of harassment by Pakistan Consulate officials in Birmingham, England, in September 2017.

Tahir, who was born in Pakistan before migrating to South Africa, faced embarrassing moments while trying to get a visa to Pakistan for his family.

This incident occurred ahead of a three-match T20 series in Pakistan involving a World XI team, of which Tahir was a part.

6. Altercation with David Warner – 2016

In a One Day International (ODI) against Australia, Imran Tahir was involved in an altercation with Australia batsman David Warner.

The incident happened when Warner was at the non-striker’s end, and Tahir exchanged words with him, leading to the umpire’s intervention.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis later commented on the incident, acknowledging Tahir’s competitive nature and his desire to win the game.

7. Racial Abuse by an Indian Fan – 2015

Imran Tahir claimed he was subjected to racial abuse by an Indian fan during a One Day International (ODI) between South Africa and India.

Cricket South Africa launched an investigation into the incident, which involved hostile verbal exchanges.

Tahir, known for his emotional and passionate demeanor on the field, has had a history of disciplinary issues, including a notable incident in 2016 where he was fined and received demerit points for a heated exchange with Australian player David Warner.

All You Need to Know about Imran Tahir

Has Imran Tahir retired?

Imran Tahir retired from One Day International (ODI) cricket after the 2019 World Cup, following an agreement with the South African Cricket board. This retirement allowed him to participate in various T20 leagues around the world​​.

Did Imran Tahir play IPL?

Yes, Imran Tahir played in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He played for the Delhi Daredevils from 2014 to 2016 and for the Chennai Super Kings from 2018 to 2021​​.

How many matches Imran Tahir played for Pakistan?

Imran Tahir played a total of 107 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 38 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for South Africa. However, he did not play international cricket for Pakistan​​.

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