South Africa call up Pakistan-born spinner
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa included Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir in a 15-man squad for the fourth and final Test against England starting at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.
Tahir, 30, was born in Lahore and represented Pakistan A before moving to South Africa where he married a local woman. He completed a residential qualification at the start of the current season.
He has played for the Easterns amateur team and the Titans franchise in South African domestic cricket. He was the leading wicket-taker for the Titans, who won the South African first-class competition, in 2008/09 with 32 wickets at an average of 27.68.
Tahir has also played in English county cricket for Middle+++, Yorkshire and Hampshire. Tahir will be competing with left-arm spinner Paul Harris for a place in the starting line-up for what selection convenor Mike Procter described as a "must win" Test.
England lead the series 1-0 and South Africa need a win to share the honours.
Fast bowler Friedel de Wet was included in the squad despite bowling only four overs during the last day of the drawn third Test in Cape Town on Thursday because of back muscle spasms. De Wet''s inclusion will depend on a scan of his injury.
Left-arm fast bowler Wayne Parnell was included in the squad but there was no recall for Makhaya Ntini, who was dropped from the team for the third Test.
The remaining members of the squad were part of the party that was selected for the Cape Town Test.
The squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Friedel de Wet, Alviro Petersen, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir.