Cape Town – Proteas spinner Imran Tahir feels that the side will be competitive in the 2019 edition of the Cricket World Cup set to be staged in England and Wales.
The 39-year-old also hopes the Proteas can give fast bowling legend Dale Steyn an appropriate send-off in what could also be the final major tournament for Tahir and a number of other senior players.
Speaking to Pakpassion.net Tahir said: “I’m looking at next year’s World Cup as a tournament that South Africa can do well in. We have a good team and have a great bunch of guys who will fight to the end and never give up. I can’t predict that we will win the World Cup but I’m pretty sure we can get through to the semi-finals and then anything is possible.”
It is not yet clear if Steyn will feature at the quadrennial showpiece but Tahir is hoping the Proteas give him and fans something to savour in the UK next year.
“Just like Jacques Kallis, you simply cannot replace Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who have been great servants of South African cricket,” Tahir added.
Steyn told Sport24 last week that he had his sights set on going to the World Cup.
“I would love to win a trophy for South Africa in white ball cricket. A number of cricketers who have played before me – Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith are legends of the game, but weren’t fortunate enough to win an ICC-sanctioned event during their playing careers. I might join those names, but hopefully I will still be around in 2019 to play in the next World Cup and have a crack at winning the trophy in the UK,” he said.
He added: “I have got to earn my way back into the Proteas ODI team. Our fast bowlers are doing quite well of late and, if they are in-form and performing, I don’t mind sitting aside and watching them shine. However, I still believe I can deliver the goods and hopefully I can represent my country for a couple more years. Hopefully I can get some white-ball games this year and put my hand up for the spot in that World Cup team next year (Steyn made his ODI debut for South Africa in 2005, with his last coming against Australia in 2016).”
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