Tanvir ready for another Hero CPL season

Sohail Tanvir celebrates another Hero CPL wicket. (Courtesy CPL)

Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir has been retained by the Guyana Amazon Warriors for this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). This will be the Pakistan all-rounder’s third season with the franchise after he was selected in the US$160,000 salary bracket. Tanvir, also an explosive batsman, says he is looking forward to his third year with the team.

“I played the last two seasons with them and I enjoyed my time with them,” he said. “We have got good communication and good relationships with the management and the owner. We don’t have big names in the team – even last year we didn’t have big names – but the reason we do well is that we gel very well and play as a team.”

The Amazon Warriors have come close to winning the Hero CPL, making the knockout stages in each of the previous five editions of the tournament, including three appearances in the final. Tanvir feels the team have not handled pressure situations well enough in the last two years, which has prevented them from going all the way.

“My feeling is maybe we panic when it comes to crucial stages,” conceded the all-rounder. “Maybe because we don’t have enough experience in our dugout in terms of our playing XI. Yes, we don’t have big names but we play as a team. But on the other hand, with lack of experience, that’s what happens sometimes. Players get under pressure.

“I still remember a game against Trinidad [when] we dropped too many catches – otherwise we would have won that game. In 2016, we were cruising until the final. We were playing great cricket, but in the final again I think it was panic or a lack of experience. But I think we have the capability and we will try to win it this time somehow. We have to try to give something to Guyana.”

Tanvir finished as the leading wicket-taker in the 2017 tournament, and his five wickets for just three runs against Barbados was the best bowling performance of last year’s event. He says everything just clicked for him that night at the Kensington Oval.

“Well, to be honest, at the early part of the tournament I was struggling a bit with my back,” he recalled. “I didn’t do well in Florida and the first couple of games but I knew I had the ability. I have done it in the past many times, so I was waiting for my moment.

“As a bowler or a batsman, when you are out of form you only need one good innings or spell. That’s what happened. It was the game before, when we played against Barbados in Guyana – that was the turning moment when I got some confidence back. My back injury was sorted, I was running in well, got three or four wickets and I scored some runs [too]. I think that was the turning point for me and for my team because at that time we had only one win out of five and we had to win the last four games out of five.

“Coming back to the Barbados game, the day before I looked at the pitch and there was a greyish look. That means the moisture was there and I told my teammates that tomorrow is going to be my day. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be 5/3 but I knew the ball would do something. When it’s swinging I know I have that strength to do well against any batsman.

“I played alongside Eoin Morgan at the T10 tournament. He mentioned to me that if you bowled this ball to any left-hand batsman you will get him out nine times out of ten. That was one of the days that comes hardly once or twice in your life – when everything goes well.” (Courtesy CPL)

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