Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who has been rested for the Proteas’ ODI and T20 series in Sri Lanka, will play for Durham in the Vitality Blast, the county T20 series.
He will be available for nine Blast fixtures, starting with Durham Jets’ away fixture against Yorkshire Vikings on 5 July.
Tahir would have been kicking his heels after CSA selectors decided to try out other options to find a backup for him for the 2019 World Cup. The Titans’ Tabraiz Shamsi, who bowls a left-arm chinaman, and Dolphins’ left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, will be fighting for the honour in Sri Lanka later in July.
Tahir is No 7 in the ICC’s T20 bowling rankings, having played more than 200 T20 games, taking 203 wickets. He also featured prominently in this year’s IPL for the victorious Chennai Super Kings.
The 39-year-old has featured in 33 T20Is, 85 ODIs and 20 Test matches for South Africa and claimed 253 wickets across all three formats.
‘I’m really excited to be heading to Durham for the Vitality Blast,’ Tahir said. ‘I always enjoy playing in England and hope that my previous international and county experience can help make an impact.’
The googly spinner is no stranger to county cricket, having previously played for Derbyshire, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
Durham’s head coach Jon Lewis said: ‘We wanted to invest in a top-quality player to improve our white ball squad and we feel that Imran demonstrates our ambition to compete in the T20 format.
‘We were keen to strengthen our squad with an experienced big-game player, who will also be able to help our talented youngsters and look forward to welcoming him to Emirates Riverside. He is one of the best leg-spinners in the world and will bring a different dimension to our game.’