Sohail Tanvir, the Pakistan fast bowler, is looking forward to playing Twenty20 cricket in Australia to gain some valuable match experience. The 24-year-old is scheduled to fly out next Friday after signing a short five-match contract with South Australia.
"It is a great honour for me," Tanvir told AFP. "Not many international players have played in Australian domestic cricket and this opportunity will help me to learn and progress toward my goal of being a top class all-rounder."
He would have been available to play for longer in Australia if he was not picked in Pakistan's squad for the home series against India, or if the series was cancelled due to security concerns. But now having been cleared to play by the PCB, coupled with India calling off the tour, he is expected to replace his Pakistan team-mate, Younis Khan, who played for the Redbacks in the current Sheffield Shield season.
Tanvir is likely to feature in the Redbacks' opener in the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash, when they take on last year's runners-up Western Australia on December 28 in Adelaide. South Australia will hope Tanvir can boost their fortunes: they are currently bottom of the one-day competition and second last in the Sheffield Shield.
Currently representing the Federal Areas in Pakistan's domestic Pentangular ODI Cup, which will conclude on December 24, Tanvir is in good form, leading the wicket-takers' charts. Earlier in the four-day version of the Pentangular Cup, he registered his career-best figures of 7 for 21 against Baluchistan.
Tanvir, who has played two Tests, 27 ODIs and 10 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan, was also the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural IPL earlier this year, picking up 22 wickets for the champions, the Rajasthan Royals.
He hoped his stint in Australia would also help him get used to the pitches and conditions ahead of Pakistan's three-Test tour scheduled for November 2009. "A lot of people say that it's tough to bowl in Australia, so I will have my chance to learn how to bowl there," he said. "This will also help me when I become part of the Pakistan team which will tour Australia next year."