Sohail Tanvir has been tipped to be a major force for Hampshire’s t20 hopes this season – if he completes a proposed move to the Ageas Bowl.
The left-arm pace bowler, who has played 50 one-day internationals and 28 t20 internationals for Pakistan, has been lined up for a short stint with the Royals as they bid to defend their Friends Life t20 title.
The club have yet to confirm whether Tanvir will be joining George Bailey as the club’s second overseas signing in the shortest form of the game but have admitted talks have taken place.
But as with just about every other year, nothing is set in stone on Hampshire’s overseas recruits as availability remains a sticking point.
Bailey is expected to miss some of the competition because of his involvement with Australia in the Champions Trophy.
Shahid Afridi, Ajantha Mendis and Brett Lee have all been signed for Hampshire in recent seasons – and then never actually arrived to play.
Afridi, who excelled in 2011, was due to return to the club last season.
But the Royals eventually opted to sign Glenn Maxwell after the Pakistan superstar’s schedule blocked his involvement.
If Tanvir does arrive though, t20 skipper Dimi Mascarenhas believes he will be a quality addition – having played alongside him in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Royals all-rounder said: ‘I played with Sohail Tanvir for the Rajasthan Royals in the first year of the IPL. He’s an amazing bowler.
‘He’s keen to come and we’re keen to have him, so if we can get him here, he would be a great signing for us. It would be an extra person to bowl with the new ball and at the death.
‘He is a very, very good death bowler, so if or when he gets here, the plan would be a couple of overs up front and a couple at the end.
‘Hopefully, he would win us some games.’
Tanvir’s agent, Umran Khan, believes the deal is done, subject to international clearance.
Khan said: ‘Tanvir will initially be with Hampshire for the t20 season and then we’ll make a decision on it after that.
‘He is also contracted to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League.
‘So initially we are looking at the end of the t20 and then we will make a decision.’