Tanvir had feared knee problem would end his career

Karachi: Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir, who has made a comeback to the national team for the New Zealand tour, says that at one stage he feared a knee problem would have ended his flourishing cricket career.

Tanvir told reporters that he had serious doubts of ever playing cricket again after he underwent a major knee operation last year in Australia.

“I can’t express the feelings at seeing my name back again in the Pakistan team. Because it has been a long and lonely journey for me to get back and recover from the knee injury,” he said.

“Honestly speaking even after I had the operation I had lot of doubt whether I would be able to make a comeback. At one stage, it looked as if my cricket career was over as I was on crutches for two months and I could not walk without them. But I worked hard because cricket has always been the biggest passion in my life,” he added.

The left-arm pacer, who had won the best bowler award in the first edition of Indian Premier League while playing for Rajasthan Royals, said he had to put in a lot of hard work and effort to complete his rehabilitation process.

“When I started playing in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and took a bagful of wickets and also scored runs I was very disappointed when the selectors did not play me in the series against South Africa.

“But now I feel it was a sensible and correct decision from them as it allowed me more time to complete my recovery,” Tanvir said, adding the doctors had also advised him to avoid playing in the series held in UAE as the conditions were not conducive for bowlers.

Tanvir said it had been a very difficult period of over nine months for him since the knee operation.

“It is not easy for a professional sportsman to recover from a major injury. There is lot of pain and self doubt involved in this process. At times it’s been a very lonely journey and difficult experience. Recovering from this serious injury has been a huge relief for me,” he said.

The knee injury that surfaced late last year saw Tanvir losing a lucrative contract to play Twenty20 cricket in Australia for Victoria and also miss out on his Pakistan national team duty.

“Today I am more confident and I know I can do a lot for Pakistan cricket. This New Zealand tour is going to be a very important one for me. Because, eventually I want to perform to a level where the selectors pick me in the World Cup squad because playing in that tournament is my biggest ambition right now,” he said.

He pointed out that playing domestic cricket had helped him gain back his confidence and bowling rhythm.

Tanvir’s last appearance for Pakistan was in a Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Dubai in November 2009.