Lions bring in Tanvir for T20 competition
Sohail Tanvir, the Pakistan left-arm seamer, has re-signed with the Lions franchise for South Africa's domestic Twenty20 competition, which starts on Friday. Tanvir is one of four internationals who have been confirmed for the tournament so far. Owais Shah and Azhar Mahmood will represent the Cape Cobras, while Ravi Bopara will turn out for the Dolphins.
Tanvir was part of the Lions squad that reached the final of last summer's event and played in the Champions League T20, where they also ended runners-up. Although he was not among the leading bowlers in the domestic competition, with just three wickets from seven matches, he formed an imposing new-ball pairing with Dirk Nannes.
Nannes is not returning to the Lions because he has signed with the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, so the responsibility will fall on Tanvir to lead the attack. He was credited with mentoring the younger quicks like Chris Morris and Ethan O'Reilly, who were the top two-wicket-takers for the Lions.
"Sohail has fitted into our setup excellently and has complemented the existing pool of talent that we have in our younger and more experienced players. He brings a wealth of experience and we are looking forward to the contribution he can make to the side," Geoffrey Toyana, Lions coach said. "It has been a great season for us thus far and there is no doubt in our minds that we want to end the season on the highest note possible."
In Toyana's first season in charge, the Lions shared the domestic one-day cup trophy with the Cobras after the final was rained out twice and finished second in the first-class championship. They have not won silverware since the 2006-7 season when they lifted the T20 cup and Tanvir hopes he can be part of helping them repeat that. "There would be nothing greater than to be able to contribute to the side and ultimately raise the trophy with teammates," Tanvir said.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent