South Africa news December 2, 2013

Mahmood, Tanvir confirm Lions signings

ESPNcricinfo staff

Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan allrounder, and fast bowler Sohail Tanvir, will represent Lions in the upcoming season of South Africa's T20 competition.

While Tanvir has played for Lions before - this is his third season with the franchise - Mahmood, a well-known figure in the T20 circuit, will be embarking on his first stint with the team. He has played in the tournament before, though, turning out for Cape Cobras last year. Mahmood did not do too well with the bat then, but claimed eight wickets in seven games at 24.50. His availability is limited to only five matches this season, though Tanvir will be available for the majority for the tournament.

"I'm really happy to have signed for Lions. I love playing cricket in South Africa and to be playing with such a successful and talented group is a real buzz," Mahmood said. "Hopefully I can add something to the team on and off the field and contribute to another successful campaign. I can't wait to join up with the boys and get going."

Mahmood and Tanvir join Saeed Ajmal, who was picked up by Titans, and Shahid Afridi, who will be in the Knights dressing room as part of a growing friendship between South Africa and Pakistan. Pakistan had agreed to tour South Africa at short notice after a curtailed visit from India was announced, and subsequently CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat had indicated the relationship between the two countries would expand to give Pakistan's players, who do not participate in the IPL, an opportunity to play in the 20-overs competition.