Imran Tahir, Melbourne Renegades leg-spinner, withdrew from the ongoing Big Bash League due to personal reasons.
Incidentally, the South African spinner’s expected arrival was delayed in December in the backdrop of Australian government’s rule that requires foreign players to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a hotel room before being allowed to play.
Michael Klinger, Renegades’ coach, admitted that Tahir pulling out of the tournament is a blow. However, he backed the 15-year-old prodigy, Noor Ahmad, to fill his role. Ahmad also bowled tidily in the game against Hobart Hurricanes, picking up one wicket for 27 runs. The chinaman bowler would have additional responsibility on his shoulders, with Mohammad Nabi set to go home to fulfill ‘international duty’.
“Unfortunately, Imran is not coming for personal reasons,” Klinger noted. “He’s a great player so it is a loss. But at the same time we’ve seen Noor Ahmad a couple of games ago, a bowler who people haven’t seen that much, it might actually work in our favour. He’ll now be able to play a fair chunk of that back end of the season, with Imad Wasim. Nabi has to go home for international duty. It is a loss but at the same time what a huge opportunity for young Noor to come in and have a huge impact on the BBL.”
Renegades have struggled to make an impact in the season so far, losing three four of their matches. However, Klinger backed his side to bounce back and noted that the mood in the camp is still upbeat. “The mood is still pretty good because we know what we’re capable of doing. We saw in game one how well we played. We know we’ve got the ability in the group to really come out and perform well.”