Redbacks chase Tanvir for Big Bash
South Australia is extending its Pakistani connection this summer by recruiting Twenty20 specialist Sohail Tanvir for the upcoming Big Bash season.
Tanvir has played two Test matches and 27 one-day internationals but rose to prominence after dominating for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League earlier this year.
In that tournament he was awarded the IPL 'Purple Cap' as the leading wicket taker with 22 wickets at an average of just over 12. He also had an economy rate of 6.46 and a strike rate of 11.20. Tanvir is also handy with the bat and has three first-class centuries to his name.
A place has opened up in the Redbacks squad as the team's current Pakistani player Younus Khan is not available to play in the Big Bash.
SACA High Performance Manager Jamie Cox said Tanvir, who he saw play against an Australia A side 18 months ago, had an 'awkward' but effective 'whirly bird' bowling action.
"(He) bowls off the wrong foot. He's a guy with an ability to nail his yorkers, bowls a very confusing slower ball," Cox said.
"He's not rapid, don't think Wasim Akram or anything like that, he's a mid 130's type of bowler. He does have the ability to mix his pace up exceptionally well."
"For my mind, it's just a very exciting opportunity to have him with hopefully a fit (Shaun) Tait charging in at the other end."
Cox said the recruiting coup came together very quickly and wasn't an expensive exercise given the player's desire to be a part of Australia's Twenty20 competition.
"That was one of the real beauties of the deal ...this guy is really coming for the opportunity, it's a very, very cheap deal for us," he said.
"He was a bargain basement price for the IPL and took more wickets than anyone else ...we believe he's quality in this form of the game."
Cox said Tanvir, who turned 24 on Friday, could not play Sheffield Shield or Ford Ranger Cup games for the Redbacks. And he said his inclusion wasn't stopping local players getting a game at the domestic level.
"We will always be looking to promote our young players .... that's certainly a focus of what we are trying to do. This guy has been brought in as a specialist to really beef up our opportunities in this competition which haven't been that good in the past," he said.
South Australia captain Graham Manou said 'any exposure to international cricket or cricketers is a massive win'.
The wicketkeeper said the Khan experiment had been a 'huge success' for the team and hoped Tanvir would be the same.
The short-team deal with Tanvir could fall through, however, if next month's series between Pakistan and India goes ahead and Tanvir is selected for his national side.