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Big Bash League 2020/21

Tanveer Sangha: The teenage leg-spinner taking the BBL by storm

Tanveer Sangha
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Tanveer Sangha, the 19-year old leg-spinner in the Sydney Thunder setup, had a brilliant 2020 and is looking good for greater things in the future. Here’s all you need to know about him.

Tanveer Sangha – the Indian roots

Tanveer Sangha was born in New South Wales, but has a strong connection to India with his parents hailing from Rahimpur, a village in Punjab. Sangha’s father, Joga Sangha, drives a taxi in Sydney and had come to the country in the 1990s in a hunt for better opportunities. Sangha has been to India several times, mostly during his summer break, playing with the neighbouring kids in the village.

His focus on leg-spin came after he turned 14 when he gave up volleyball and fast bowling to turn into a spinner. His inspiration – someone who has played a mentor role in his life – is Fawad Ahmed, who moved from Sydney Thunder to Perth Scorchers after the 2018 Big Bash League season.

Fawad introduced Sangha to his BBL franchise, convincing them to back the rookie, after he saw the teenager bowling in an under-16 game in Melbourne.

Tanveer Sangha had been contracted to the Thunder at the age of 17, but his first chance came in the 2020/21 edition after his superlative performances in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier in 2020 caught the eye.

The big break in the under-19 World Cup

The quiet rise of Tanveer Sangha wasn’t viewed with too much interest until he had a breakthrough tournament at the world stage in 2020.

Sangha finished the under-19 World Cup in South Africa as the fourth-highest wicket-taker and Australia’s highest by a distance. While none of his teammates took more than four wickets in the tournament, Sangha finished with 15, averaging 11.46 and conceding runs at an economy of 3.58.

Against Afghanistan in the World Cup, Sangha produced an all-round performance that saved Australia from a defeat. Having snared 4-41 with the ball, Sangha still had work to do as he walked in to bat at 123-6 with Australia needing 69 runs to win in less than 12 overs.

Sangha finished with an unbeaten 46 off 40 balls, smashing five fours and a six in a match-winning knock.

Tanveer Sangha

Tanveer Sangha has been one of the breakout players of BBL10

The star in BBL 2020/21

Sangha’s debut for the Sydney Thunder came against the Melbourne Stars last month. He dismissed Andre Fletcher and Ben Dunk and finished with figures of 4-0-26-2, the most economical by anyone in his side.

Six games into the season, Sangha already has wickets in double figures and is the joint-second highest wicket-taker in the league this campaign. While it’s too early to say what 2021 holds for Sangha, Australia’s history with leg-spinners – not to mention leggies-turned-batsmen – means that we have a potential international star in the making.

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