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'Tri-series win valued over IPL title'

Left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir rates Pak's tri-series victory against India as more valuable than the IPL title win, in which he played a very crucial role.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Karachi
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2008 09:14 PM IST

Left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir on Monday rated Pakistan's tri-series final victory against arch-rivals India in Bangladesh as more valuable than the Indian Premier League title win, in which he played a key role.

"Nothing can replace national pride. What I did in the IPL was a purely individual effort. I was happy that I was able to play a role and take Rajasthan Royals to a final win but being part of the Pakistan team in the final at Dhaka is more important," said Tanvir, who returned 1-60 in Dhaka.

The wrong-footed bowler insisted that representing his country in international arena was much significant to him than playing in a franchised tournament like IPL.

"It is always an honour to play for Pakistan and to be part of a team that wins a big match or final. The IPL is something different," he insisted.

Tanvir, who emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the cash-rich IPL, said the Indian players had adopted a defensive tactics against him in the final in Dhaka.

"I could see they were not willing to go after me and that helped a lot. We were all very keen to win the final against India after the group match defeat," he said.

Tanvir rubbished any comparison between him and legendary pacer Wasim Akram, whom he considers a role model for himself.

"Wasim Akram was in a totally different class and I am nowhere near to him. It will take a number of years and time before I can become as good a bowler as he was. I see him as a role model but when people compare me with him I feel embarrassed, but also proud," he said.

Asked about preparation for the final, Tanvir said the team had spent three days before the match analysing video footage of every Indian player and working out a plan for him.

"These intense sessions worked for us as we batted and bowled according to a proper plan," he said.

Pakistan manager Talat Ali said the team definitely missed pacer Mohammad Asif in the tournament and were praying that he will be released soon from detention in Dubai.

"Obviously, there is feeling for him and we all feel bad for him we want him to come back as soon as possible."

Asif has been in detention in Dubai since June 1 for allegedly carrying some contraband substance while he was returning home after his stint in the IPL.

Ali also played down the impression that the Chairman of the Board had rushed to Dhaka because the captain and coach were unable to handle things.

"No I don't think that is true. The Chairman always comes for the big games and his presence was meant to cheer up the players. The captain and coach are doing their jobs well," he insisted.

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