Left-arm seamer and all-rounder Sohail Tanvir will be leading the Pakistan A team for their series against Afghanistan which starts later this month.
Sohail, the unorthodox left-arm bowler who throws off the wrong foot, was very much part of the plans for the ICC World Cup 2011, as he was called a secret weapon by Pakistan Chief Selector Mohsin Khan after finding a place in the 15 member team.
However, he was left out of the team on the eve of the tournament. The reason cited was his unimpressive form and lack of fitness during the tour of New Zealand where he represented the national team in the One Day International series.
The Rawalpindi based all-rounder expressed happiness at getting the opportunity of leading the reserve Pakistan team in what is a significant series considering that Afghanistan will be the first international team to visit Pakistan after the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009.
Afghanistan took part in last year’s T20 World Championship and left a mark on two international giants that they played in their group matches. They played India and South Africa and gave a good account of themselves, as they are coached by former Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Rashid Latif, who played a vital role in getting the series arranged.
The three ODI’s will be played at Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad, as a real challenge would be coping with the heat especially at the first two venues. Abbottabad is a hilly area and is generally cool even in summers, hence the players will find conditions extremely pleasant there compared to the two venues inPunjab.
Meanwhile the A team looks strong on paper, as some of the best talent in the country has made their way in the 15 man squad. The pace bowling department has two express bowlers in Sohail Khan and Mohammad Talha, who both played a test each in the series against Sri Lanka which was cut short due to the attacks in Lahore.
The wickets for the two matches at Karachi and Lahore were heavily stacked in the favour of the batsmen hence the two struggled to make an impact. Sadly they have been ignored since then and have not made any international appearance in any format of the game.
The batting department includes right handed middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin who played in the last two ODIs against the West Indies earlier this month.