English county Surrey signed South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir on Tuesday for the upcoming T20 Blast. Tahir becomes the club’s second overseas signing for the 2019 season. Australian big-hitting batsman Aaron Finch was the first overseas signing as he will be returning to Surrey for the fourth year. Tahir will be joining the Surrey squad after the completion of his team’s involvement in the upcoming World Cup before the club’s opening match at Essex on July 19th. “I’m always looking for new and exciting opportunities. That’s how I see the chance to play with one of the most talented playing groups in county cricket,” Tahir said in an official statement released by Surrey Cricket.
“When I heard Alec Stewart had asked after me, it was an easy decision. Surrey is a massive club and it will be great if I can contribute to helping them win another trophy this summer at the Kia Oval,” he added. Tahir was the standout bowler in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). He was able to take 26 wickets for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the most in the competition and as a result, he was the winner of the Purple Cap (provided to the bowler with the most number of wickets in the tournament). He was instrumental in taking his team to the finals of the tournament. CSK were defeated by Mumbai Indians by one run in the finals.
Across his career, Tahir has represented South Africa in two World Cups and two T20 World Cups. He was even ranked the number one bowler in the T20 format in 2017. The 40-year-old Tahir has 63 wickets in the T20Is for South Africa. “Imran is a proven match winner and with his vast experience of international, county and franchise cricket will be a huge asset to us,” Surrey Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said in an official statement.