Sohail Tanvir was born on December 12th, 1984 in Rawalpindi, Punjab. He is a Pakistani cricketer, who has gained repute for his unorthodox left arm bowling action and particularly for the success it has gained him in the Twenty20 format of the game.
An allrounder, he is a hard-hitting left-handed batsman and an unorthodox left-arm fast-medium bowler who also bowls occasional left-arm orthodox spin. Despite not having taken a single wicket during his ten Twenty20 matches domestically, he was selected for Pakistan’s squad for the inaugral World Twenty20 after Shoaib Akhtar was sent home. He made his Twenty20 debut in the tournament, and took six wickets in six matches, with best bowling figures of 3 for 31 in four overs against Australia. Though considered an allrounder, Tanvir did not get a chance to bat in the tournament until the final, where he made his first international runs, with a six off his first ball, aiding Pakistan back into the game.
After impressing in the ICC World Twenty20, he was selected to play in the ODI series against South Africa in October, 2007. He was then selected for the tour of India, and took eight wickets in the ODI series. He also took part in the Test series that followed, making his debut in place of the injured Umar Gul. On debut at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Dehli, he took three wickets which included Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. In Asia Cricket Cup, June 2008, Pakistan played their first game against Hong Kong at Karachi. In that match, Pakistan’s top order struggled to get grips with Hong Kong bowlers before Sohail Tanvir set up a 100 run stand along with Fawad Alam for the 8th wicket. Sohail scored his maiden ODI 50 in that match. He scored 59 off just 55 balls which took Pakistan to a respectable score of 288. After that, in the match vs. Sri Lanka, Tanvir took his first 5 wickets haul. He ended at 5/48 in 10 overs.
Indian Premier League career
On March 11, 2008 Tanvir was signed up in the second round of the Indian Premier League’s players’ auction by the Jaipur franchise, Rajasthan Royals, for $100,000.
Playing in their third game of the tournament, on May 4, Tanvir took the match, won by six wickets against Chennai Super Kings at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. Figures of 6-14 from four funds is a record for Twenty20 cricket. And ended the tournament as the highest wicket taker, with 22 wickets from 11 matches at 12.09, and the rate of the economy of 6.46 and a strike rate of 11.20, the best among bowlers with more than six wickets.
In the final match of the tournament, on June 1 at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai, with Rajasthan chase 164 to win, and Enlightenment added runs along the 21 with Shane Warne captain. Hit the winning runs on the final ball of the innings, to see the home of the royal family. And submitted at a later time with the “purple cap”, an award for the leading wicket taker in the tournament.
A statistical analysis revealed conducted by Cricinfo after the completion of the league stage of the championship classification enlighten the most successful player. Also been rated as the second player to the best value for the tournament, after the signing of the $ 100,000. Involved but later in the debate over racial remarks to Hindus when it was not chosen in the IPL 2010
Twenty20 Big Bash
In December 2008, was signed by the enlightenment of the local Australian Redbacks side bash southern Kentucky Fried Chicken big Twenty20. In its first match against Western Australia and incited against fellow Pakistani fast he aimed Omar Gul and despite the fact that he was arrested outside the first ball he took 1-15 with the ball for his team in a winning cause. Means of an international obligation that is not available for the entire tournament and he struggled to get between the wickets, despite the improved level of beatings throughout his time is short.
He signed one year contract with Surrey County Cricket Club in July 2009 for 75,000 pounds. He said he would try to benefit from the opportunity to get back in national side but the deal didn’t get signed.
Who were your favourite players when you were growing up?
Sohail Tanvir: Being a left hander myself I was a big fan of Wasim Akram, I loved the way he bowls and I really enjoyed watching him play.
What’s your selection story?
Sohail Tanvir: I was taking part in a camp at the academy when Wasim Akram spotted me and recommended me strongly to the PCB. Then when Shoaib Akhtar was sent home before the T20 World Cup, I was sent to South Africa as a replacement for him.
What did it feel like to have your childhood hero recommend you for selection?
Sohail Tanvir: It’s an amazing feeling when your own favourite whom you admire so much sees enough potential in you to recommend you for international selection. I’ll never forget it.
You made your name through T20 cricket but which do you prefer? Is it T20, ODI or Test cricket?
Sohail Tanvir: To be completely honest with you I think that Test cricket is the pinnacle; it just doesn’t get any better than that. But since my international debut Pakistan haven’t played much Test cricket, we’ve played 5 Tests and out of those I only played in 2 against India. You’re right when you say that I’ve become known due to my performances in T20 cricket but I can only play the games that are available to me. I think I got more exposure by winning bowler of the tournament in the IPL than I did during the T20 World Cup.
Do you think the T20 craze is a danger to Test or ODI cricket?
Sohail Tanvir: The real format of cricket is Tests. I don’t think there is any danger to Test cricket, those that truly understand and love the game of cricket will always prefer the 5 day game because it fully tests both teams. Casual fans may prefer T20 cricket because all they want to see is boundaries but the real fans value Test cricket.
To the naked eye your action looks very awkward and it appears that you’re putting too much pressure on your shoulder. Have u been advised by any of your coaches that you should change to a more orthodox action to avoid injury?
Sohail Tanvir: This is my action; it’s too late to change it now. The only problems my action has caused so far have been for the batsmen who are having trouble reading it, I haven’t had any problems myself. I keep getting told it’s bad for my shoulder but I’m not the first or the last bowler to bowl from the shoulder. Even Wasim Akram used to bowl from the shoulder so I’m not unique in that respect.
From your own perspective, does your action hurt?
Sohail Tanvir: No it doesn’t. I’ve been playing with this action since childhood and (thank God) I haven’t had any fitness problems related to it so far and Insha Allah (God willing) I wont have any problems with it in the future either.
Most cricket commentators and experts say that your initial success is down to your unusual action, they say once batsmen get over the novelty of your action u don’t have the speed to continue being successful, especially in Test cricket. How do you intend to prove them wrong?
Sohail Tanvir: You can’t stop people from talking, it’s their right to speculate but perhaps they should check out my first class record. If they do they’ll see that I’ve performed with both the bat and the ball in the 4 day game. Speed isn’t important for a seam bowler. Do McGrath, Vaas or Pollock bowl at over 90mph? No they don’t, they bowl at around my speed. My main weapon is swing and not speed; I’ll keep taking wickets for as long as I can keep swinging the ball.
I’ve seen you clock 140kph so you’re clearly capable of bowling faster if you want, is it a conscious decision on your part to bowl within yourself?
Sohail Tanvir: I have clocked over 140kph but my focus is always to bowl to my strengths, I don’t chase speed because if I do then I’ll lose control over my swing and my line and length. What good would I be if I was bowling at 140kph but without any swing or control over my bowling? I like to vary my speed to keep the batsmen guessing which is why you’ll sometimes see me clocking as high as 145kph but I’m a swing bowler and so I concentrate on that. I’m determined to let my bowling do the talking for me. Any player can sit here and talk about how successful he will be but I’d rather go out there and perform. I want people to see how good I can be rather than spend my time telling them about how good I will be.
You have one of the best slower balls in the business. Did you develop it yourself or did someone teach you how to do it?
Sohail Tanvir: It’s something that I developed myself; I developed it during my tape ball cricket days. I’ve played lots and lots of tape ball cricket which is why I have good control over my yorkers and my slower ball. Both those deliveries are used a lot in that type of cricket.
My cousin remembers watching you bowl in a tape ball tournament in Rosalinda. He said no-one could hit you for six. There was only one guy (known to everyone as ‘Bonga Bonga’ because he hit huge sixes) and even he only hit you twice…
Sohail Tanvir: (interrupts)…it’s not true that I couldn’t be hit for six but I would agree that it was very hard to hit me for six. I was one of the top bowlers in tape ball cricket and I owe a lot of my success to it. The reason I don’t panic easily is down to my experiences in tape ball cricket, I credit my confidence in my own abilities to tape ball cricket, it’s the reason why I’ve never been overawed by any batsman.
What are your memories and impressions of tape ball cricket?
Sohail Tanvir: I grew up playing it; all my early cricketing memories are connected to it. It made me the bowler I am today. The first time I regularly began to play with the hard ball was when I joined my first class team, before that I spent all my time playing tape ball cricket.
Where did the nickname Tukri come from?
Sohail Tanvir: It came from my tape ball days; everyone has a nickname in tape ball. It’s a common thing, the only reason my nickname is being mentioned is because I’m in the national team now. Ask your cousin, he’ll tell you about how common nicknames are.
Sohail Tanvir: I don’t know why they called me Tukri, there’s no specific incident or story that I can point to and say that’s why I became known as Tukri. It was just a name that stuck.
When you took 6 for 11 in one of the IPL games, in your last over a misfield led to a 4 being conceded, u seemed really angry about that…
Sohail Tanvir: (interrupts)…yes I still remember it to this day. That 4 really spoiled my analysis, it could have been 6 wickets for 7 runs.
That’s a great attitude and something that’s lacking in most of our current bowlers. They just accept misfields and leaked boundaries as inevitable.
Sohail Tanvir: What makes me angry is lazy fielding. I mean if I’m out there bowling my heart out and trying to force the batsman into a false stroke by drying up the runs, then why can’t the fielder put as much effort into his job? When I’m bowling I count the runs I’m conceding after each delivery and in each over, I enjoy studying my analysis and I hate being hit around. Anytime that I end up conceding a lot of runs I’m furious with myself and I work even harder to make sure that it won’t happen again. Bowlers need to be aggressive, I’m not talking about swearing at the batsman but you need to be harsh with yourself. If a batsman hits you for six then you should admonish yourself because it wasn’t the batsman who hit you for six, it was you who allowed the batsman to hit you for six.
Judging by your man of the match interviews you seem quite fluent in English but you preferred to conduct this interview in Urdu, how good is your English?
Sohail Tanvir: I’m not fluent in English, I can understand others and make myself understood but that’s about it. The way to really learn a language is by talking in it all the time, the more you converse in a language the more fluent you become. You live in the UK and over there even uneducated people talk in English because that’s the language everyone talks in over there. Yet here in Pakistan, where English isn’t our national language, our players get maligned for not being able to speak in fluent English…
(interrupts) …I’m in complete agreement with you. I’ve always said that cricket should have interpreters in the same way that football does. In football it’s ok to speak in your native tongue (usually European) but in cricket it’s a sin if your native tongue isn’t English. This attitude is all wrong.
Sohail Tanvir: When an international team comes to play in Pakistan why do we conduct everything in English? This is Pakistan! The crowds, the players and the local TV audience all speak in Urdu. The board needs to look into this, we’re just promoting a poor image of ourselves by forcing our players to struggle through interviews in a language that they can’t speak properly.
How did it feel when you hit those huge sixes in the final of the T20 World Cup?
Sohail Tanvir: T20 is such a fast moving game that I didn’t have any time to savour them; my mind was on the runs needed and balls remaining equation. I was fully focused on winning the match. First Misbah hit 3 sixes and then I hit 2 sixes myself which brought the required run rate down to a manageable level but unfortunately I got out and Misbah played that shot. The only thing in my mind after the match was that we didn’t win, it wasn’t till later on that I was reminded that I’d hit a six on the first ball of my international career and that it was also a world record!
Do you think that those two sixes created extra pressure on you with people expecting you to bat well too?
Sohail Tanvir: No I wouldn’t say it’s led to any extra pressure on me because I can bat, I just haven’t had any proper chances to show my batting ability yet. If you check out my first class record you’ll see that I have scored 4 centuries and 6 fifties, in the 6 or so games before my international debut I scored something like 600 runs and took 26 wickets. I normally come in to bat with only an over or two left to play and that’s not enough for an all-rounder to adjust to international cricket or for me to show my ability with the bat is it? When I got a chance to bat, I scored that 50 against Hong Kong.
You seem confident in your batting ability. Whose idea was it to send you up the order in the IPL?
Sohail Tanvir: Shane Warne saw me batting in the nets and told me that I had good batting ability; in fact it was his idea to send me up the order. I disappointed myself because I didn’t score the runs I should have but I was glad for the opportunity. In the final he sent me up the order again despite what had happened the previous times and it was great to have him trust my ability like that. I’m confident that if I’m given a good run batting up the order I can prove that I am a good all-rounder.
You’ve praised Warne’s captaincy several times, what was it about his captaincy that impressed you so much?
Sohail Tanvir: Warne took a small, unfancied team and beat all the big money sides to walk away with the trophy, that doesn’t happen by accident. I believe that a good captain is someone who knows how to get the best out of his players, Warne did that with us. Of course it helps to have players with ability but that ability is useless without a captain who cant get the best out of his young an inexperienced players. Warne deserves full credit for that IPL victory, he has a great cricketing brain.
What percentage of a players performance is down to him and how much is down to the way his captain uses him?
Sohail Tanvir: I’d say 50% for both. I’m a swing bowler, my job is to swing the new ball and if I fail to do that then I’m the one to blame. However if my captain doesn’t give me the new ball and brings me on when the ball has lost it’s shine and it’s swing then who should we blame if I can’t swing the ball? Hasn’t the captain negated the entire reason for me being in the team by not giving me the new ball? Why play a swing bowler if you aren’t going to let him exploit the swing in the new ball? A good captain should know which player is best for which position and what is the best time to use each player, it’s a captain’s duty to find these things out.
Why are you so good with the old ball despite your lack of speed?
Sohail Tanvir: You’re right I don’t bowl at 90mph, I bowl around 83-84mph. Bowling at the death isn’t about speed because an edge or a misfield off a 90mph ball will easily fly to the boundary when the batsman is swinging hard at every delivery. Bowling at the death is all about control and variation, batsmen are looking to play premeditated slogs so if you can keep them guessing then you’ll be successful. You need to be able to bowl slower balls and yorkers at will, that’s where my tape ball experience has helped me out.
Have u ever played cricket abroad and if you have, how did it go?
Sohail Tanvir: I played club cricket in Manchester, I had a good season. I played about a dozen games, taking around 80 wickets and scoring over 600 runs.
Sohail Tanvir Pictures