Ma­jola apol­o­gises to Tahir over call-up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - AN­DREW MCGLASHAN

THE depths of con­fu­sion sur­round­ing the call-up of Im­ran Tahir to the South Africa squad have been re­vealed with Ger­ald Ma­jola, the Cricket South Africa chief ex­ec­u­tive, say­ing it came as a “shock” to see Tahir in the 15-man party and that the in­ci­dent had caused “much em­bar­rass­ment.”

Mike Proc­ter, the con­venor of se­lec­tors, in­cluded Tahir but later the de­ci­sion was over­turned af­ter it be­came clear the leg spinner wasn’t yet el­i­gi­ble.

Con­fu­sion reigned as coach Mickey Arthur wasn’t clear on the reg­u­la­tions and now Ma­jola has con­fir med Tahir is not avail­able for South Africa un­til De­cem­ber 2010, which rules him out of the tours to In­dia and the West Indies, when it was orig­i­nally be­lieved he qual­i­fied in April last year.

Tahir is in­el­i­gi­ble on two grounds. He be­gan his qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod in 2006 and has to spend at least 183 days in the coun­try for four con­sec­u­tive years, and he had not com­pleted that pe­riod.

There is then an ad­di­tional CSA re­quire­ment that the player must ei­ther be a na­tional or hold a per­ma­nent res­i­dency per­mit.

CSA have apol­o­gised to Tahir for the con­fu­sion and any em­bar­rass­ment caused and Ma­jola has said that he will en­sure the cor­rect pro­ce­dures are fol­lowed in the fu­ture.

“CSA takes this op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide the back­ground to this un­for­tu­nate af­fair which has caused both Im­ran Tahir and South African cricket much em­bar­rass­ment,” Ma­jola said.

“Im­ran came to South Africa in 2006 and ex­pressed a wish to be­come a rep­re­sen­ta­tive player in South Africa and to gain per­ma­nent res­i­dency. He has sub­se­quently mar­ried a South African na­tional.

“He has played lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket over the past three years, and has ap­plied for per­ma­nent res­i­dency. This ap­pli­ca­tion process, we un­der­stand, is now reach­ing fruition.

“Im­ran does not qual­ify for se­lec­tion at this stage un­der the CSA reg­u­la­tions. When and if he does, CSA will then be re­quired to ap­ply to the ICC for per­mis­sion to se­lect him should CSA so wish.

“In th­ese cir­cum­stances, it came as a shock to see a pub­lic an­nounce­ment by CSA’s con­venor of se­lec­tors that Im­ran had been in­cluded in the squad for the fi­nal Test against Eng­land.”

Tahir will take up a con­tract as War­wick­shire’s over­seas player in the English County Cham­pi­onship for the 2010 sea­son and is also ex­pected to move fran­chises in South Africa to join the Dol­phins.

Im­ran Tahir

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