Tanvir keen to follow Pakistan greats

Together at last: Sohail Tanvir and Hampshire manager Giles White.   Picture: Neil Marshall
Together at last: Sohail Tanvir and Hampshire manager Giles White. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Sohail Tanvir is determined to join an illustrious list of Pakistan internationals to make an impact at Hampshire.

The left-arm seamer will make his debut tomorrow as Hampshire host Gloucestershire in the County Championship.

Tanvir will follow in the footsteps of countrymen Aaqib Javed, Wasim Akram, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi to have played for the county.

And the 28-year-old, who signed for Hampshire back in 2008 but was unable to play over visa complications, has done his background research.

Tanvir said: ‘I spoke to Shahid Afridi in April about Hampshire.

‘I also spoke to Abdul Razzaq and Wasim Akram as they have both played here.

‘So I got some information about the club and the pitch.

‘All three gave good words about Hampshire, especially about the management. They all had good experiences.

‘But I’ve always wanted to play in county cricket.

‘I’ve played all over the world, in South Africa, Australia and India, but for some reason never in county cricket.

‘I’ve signed five contracts to play in this country. In 2008 with Hampshire, 2009 for Kent and Surrey and, last year, with Worcestershire but because of visa issues these were never completed.

‘That’s why I’m very excited about making my debut.’

While Tanvir may not be as high-profile as Afridi, he should be a useful addition to the side and, unlike t20 signing Afridi, will play in all forms to establish himself as a four-day player.

Tanvir said: ‘This is a positive move for me because I can play in all forms.

‘I want to rid myself of that t20 and short-form tag and prove myself in four-day cricket.’

Hampshire missed out on victory over Kent at the weekend and desperately need a win over Gloucestershire to push themselves into the promotion frame.

But so far this year, they have struggled to bowl sides out on the Ageas Bowl pitches that tend to favour the batsmen.

Tanvir, however, has an unusual bowling action that may cause problems for opponents and admits it’s a style all of his own.

He said: ‘My action is just natural. Nobody could build an action like this.

‘No coach would suggest to have an action like mine, but that’s how it is.

‘It’s given me lots of benefits. I can get lots of swing after the ball pitches because of my wrist position.

‘It’s difficult to maintain, though, because I’ve got so many injuries from it.

‘When I watched my action on TV even I was surprised.

‘My mates would always say “your action is quite different”.

‘I would always ask them why, as I would run in the same but I am happy with the way it is.’

Tanvir’s action might be unusual but it’s effective.

He has taken 61 one-day wickets for Pakistan in 50 appearances and has a fine record in the Indian Premier League.

Tanvir has also played alongside Neil McKenzie at Highveld Lions over the winter, who spoke highly of the new recruit.

McKenzie said: ‘He’s a good guy, he’s an excellent death bowler in t20 and it will be interesting to see how he goes in the four-day stuff as well.

‘He’s got some seriously good stats and most Pakistani seamers do really well in English conditions so let’s see how he goes.’