With the tension in India-Pakistan relations showing few signs of easing, Pakistan cricketers are unsure of participation in the next season of the IPL. However, Sohail Tanvir, who helped Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural title as the tournament's leading wicket-taker last season, is not too concerned about the possibility of missing the competition.
"Even if I don't get to play in the IPL next season, I don't think it would be a big setback for me or my career," he told PTI. "There are a lot of other opportunities to play cricket in other countries." He has signed a short five-match contract with South Australia for the domestic Twenty20 tournament that began on Friday and said that playing in England was another option he would explore.
Some IPL franchises have expressed uncertainty over the future of Pakistan players on their books, mostly because it might be a difficult prospect logistically if relations between the two governments worsen. Some, such as Delhi Daredevils, have said they are keen to keep Shoaib Malik, for example, on for this season.
Tanvir, who was signed up by the Royals for US$100,000, was not worried about the money he would potentially lose if forced to skip the second season. "The board is already looking after our financial interests properly so for me missing the IPL is not a big deal."
He also emphasised that his top priority was representing the national team. "Playing for Pakistan is far more important for me than any other cricket," he said."Nothing can replace the feeling of nationalism one feels when representing your country."
Tanvir has had plenty of success in the Twenty20 format so far, first coming into the international spotlight when the batsmen struggled to pick his apparent wrong-foot action during the World Twenty20 last year.
Tanvir, though, felt it was his variations, rather than his uncoventional action, which made him tick in Twenty20s, a ploy he is hoping to use successfully during his South Australia stint as well. "For those guys that haven't faced me they can see my videos and they can analyse me," he told Sportal. "So it's not more difficult for them.
"If the bowler is a bit clever, you still have a chance to get wickets and contain the batsmen because the batsmen have to go after the bowler on every ball."
South Australia captain Graham Manou hoped Tanvir will boost a side having a poor season so far - they are currently bottom of the Sheffield Shield and second last in the one-day competition. "Fingers crossed he can come out and do what he did in the IPL for us," Manou said. "An international player, seasoned campaigner so hopefully he can turn it on when required."