TANVIR RELISHING LIFE AT STRABANE

One of the success stories of the season so far has been leg-spinner Tanvir Hassan, whose guile and skill have been instrumental in Strabane’s cup exploits.

The 29 year-old was born in Bangladesh where he first played at the Indura Academy in Dhaka before coming to live in the south of England, playing for Chingford.

It was there where he recorded his best bowling figures of 7 for 38 against Stanmore. After moving to Dublin, he played for Leinster but found it hard to get into the first team ahead of international spinners George Dockrell and Gareth Delany.

He put out the word that he was willing to travel for first team cricket and Michael Gillespie of Strabane rolled out the welcome mat.

Tanvir Hassan appeals

Despite the long bus journeys from his home in Dublin, Tanvir says he has never been happier in his cricket and he has been overwhelmed by the kindness and fellowship he has encountered in the Strabane dressing room and among the diehard supporters, never more than two weeks ago when he played a leading role in bringing the Eric Cooke Cup to the club for the first time.

“I have never seen so many people happy and I can’t get over the enthusiasm that all North West supporters show for their cricket”, Tanvir told the Chronicle.

“As well as that, it’s like a dream come true to be playing in the same club as legends like Shoaib Akhtar and Faisal Iqbal.

“Although I am an Asian boy, my cricketing hero has always been Shane Warne and I just love bowling my spin to help Strabane. It was a special experience to do so well in that Cup Final against Fox Lodge, but to have reached another final at the end of the season (the Samuel Jeffrey Memorial Cup) is truly the icing on the cake and I know Aaron and all the lads are greatly looking forward to another great occasion.”

Strabane will have to wait a little longer to know their opponents in that end of season final after St Johnston and Glendermott tied in dramatic fashion on Sunday.

They meet again in the replay at The Rectory on Sunday.