KARACHI: All-rounder Sohail Tanvir has warned his fellow Pakistan players to watch out for bookies and corrupt elements approaching them in the present circumstances due to the excessive use of social media.
Talking to a group of journalists in a video conference, the left-arm seamer, however, categorically denied receiving any such offers in his career spanning over a decade.
“I think attacks [corrupt approaches] on players will increase in the confined environment through social media platform,” said Sohail. “However, they must respond as per the prescribed anti-corruption guidelines. I am sure the authorities are also aware of this threat.”
Sohail, who regularly features in T20 leagues around the world, said: “They [bookies] study the players before luring them in and since my stance has been very firm and clear against this ‘fixing’ menace, I have never been approached for foul practices,” he said.
Sohail, 36, has scored 2267 runs and captured 351 wickets in the 336 T20 matches he has appeared so far in his career that include his stints in the T20 leagues around the world.
On the Pakistan squad for the England series, Sohail said his name was considered but it was not in his destiny to get selected for the trip.
“The selection committee seems to be inclined towards younger players but I believe age is just a number, performance and fitness should be of top priority. Young bowlers need senior teammates along side them to learn better in difficult times,” he observed. “Performances in domestic tournaments should be respected otherwise players will get very disheartened.”
Sohail is of the view that “talented” Haider Ali has been picked up a bit early. “He [Haider Ali] performed very well in the recent domestic events and I have no doubt in his abilities. However, players, especially batsmen, should not be inducted into the national side this early. More often, in this situation, a player breaks down after few matches because of lack of maturity. Having said that, now that Haider has been selected, I wish him well on the tour and in his career ahead,” Sohail said
On the ICC’s interim regulations, the left-arm paceman urged the authorities to look for an alternative of saliva for the bowlers to shine the ball.
“Without applying saliva, the bowlers will lose a considerable amount of advantage. The game will tilt in the batsmen’s favour I am afraid. The ICC should come up with an alternate to saliva,” Sohail said
He further pointed out that this lay off period will have some adverse effects on Pakistan bowlers. However, about a month’s time in England, before the Test series, should be enough for bowlers to get back into the groove.
“Rhythm is very important for the bowlers and I am sure Pakistani bowlers will utilise the pre series time in England to regain their bowling fitness and rhythm”, Tanvir said
Sohail Tanvir, who lastly donned the national colour in 2017, expressed hope that he would make a come back in the Pakistan team pretty soon.
“I have not lost hope and I am keeping myself fit. My recent domestic performance speaks for itself. There are major events lined up later this year and I am optimistic about my chances,” concluded Sohail.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2020