Leg-spinner in England dreams of playing for Bangladesh
Tanvir Hasan Shohagh, a Bangladesh-born bowler in England, has been away from home for eight years now. However, his love for cricket hasn’t changed, and hence, he has been playing the game regularly in England. Tanvir also got to bowl to international cricketers in the nets during the Champions Trophy in 2016.
While the likes of Rashid Khan are ruling the domestic leagues around the world and also helping their national teams improve, Bangladesh national team has a void yet to be filled. And being a leg-spinner, who could help his country to fill the void, Tanvir couldn’t help but move to England to complete his education.
In a recent interview with Cricfrenzy.com, Tanvir reminisced about his time during the Champions Trophy. The bowler also revealed how he chose to become a leg-spinner. He talked about his journey so far and also shared his plans for the future.
Here is the excerpt from Tanvir Hasan’s interview with Cricfrenzy.
Cricfrenzy (CF): Why in England instead of Bangladesh?
Tanvir Hasan (TH): I came here to study, mainly. However, I couldn’t give up playing cricket because I love it very much since my childhood. So, I stuck to cricket even after shifting here and want to go on with it. I have been here for 8-9 years. I have kept playing (cricket). Let’s see how far I can go.
CF: Are there more Bangladeshis like you who play there?
TH: There are many of them here. There are the native-born one as well as the immigrants. But they do not play for any club, they usually play friendly matches. But the number of Bangladeshis is huge. I played for different clubs like Sussex, Kent, and Kevin Pietersen Cricket Academy for a long time.
Tanvir with Kevin Pietersen
CF: Why did you choose to become a leg-spinner?
TH: I used to follow Shane Warne since my childhood. And that instilled in me the desire to become a leg-spinner. I’ve been a leg-spinner for more than ten years now. I still have a lot of things to learn. Yet I’m trying to carry on with it.
CF: You were a net bowler during the Champions Trophy in 2016. How was the experience?
TH: I was with every team during the Champions Trophy. When I was with the Indian team, they needed a leg-spinner before their match against South Africa. I was the only leg-spinner; hence, I had bowled to [Virat] Kohli, [MS] Dhoni, Yuvraj [Singh], and Kedar Yadav.
I was with the Bangladesh team as well. [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai appreciated my bowling. Shakib [Al Hasan] bhai had given me a pair of shoes. [Nurul Islam] Sohan bhai was also very happy after I bowled to him in the nets and gifted me a pair of [wicket-keeping] gloves.
I also have some good memories with the Australian team. I had bowled out Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa. England’s Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, and New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi gave me a lot of tips which had helped me later.
Tanvir bowling to India batsman
CF: Where did you play before going to England? And did anyone tell you anything about returning to your country?
TH: Before coming here, I played for the Indira Road Cricket Academy. I’d played there for many years. Then I shifted here. I’ve been playing for so many years after coming here and got no response from Bangladesh. But Ekattor TV had taken an interview during the Champions Trophy. And I’d said a lot of things there.
CF: What if you get a chance to play somewhere in your country? Or do you want to play in any of the domestic circuits of your country?
TH: I will try for the BPL next year as there is no leg spinner in our country. I also keep track of Dhaka Premier League and BCL [Bangladesh Cricket League]. And since there are no leg-spinners in our country, I want to make the best of this opportunity. The main goal is to play for the country.
I was the highest wicket-taker for three successive years at the club where I play currently. I was also the highest wicket-taker of Kevin Pietersen Academy. So, I hope, all these experiences will help me in the future.
CF: Which Bangladesh cricketer inspires you?
TH: I get inspired by everyone [in the Bangladesh team], be it Mashrafe bhai or Shakib bhai. I have a desire to play with them for the country. That's why I’ve been trying to make myself fully prepared.
Tanvir with Mashrafe Bin Mortaza
CF: You’ve been living in England for so many years. Could you play for England by any chance?
TH: Actually, there is a lot of competition here. There are many good spinners in England, to say the least. So I want to play for my country rather than playing here. I actually tried to look for some opportunities here but that certainly did not happen.
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