The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have roped in USA fast bowler Ali Khan as replacement for English pacer Harry Gurney, making him the first American to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The IPL schedule 2020 is out, click here.
The 29-year-old Khan was seen on West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo’s Instagram story, shot on a flight, captioned “next stop Dubai”. Both Bravo and Ali Khan were part of the Trinbago Knight Riders' – the CPL franchise with the same parent company as KKR – title-winning squad in the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.
The development comes after Gurney pulled out of both IPL 2020 and England’s Vitality Blast to have his injured shoulder operated. Ali Khan picked up eight wickets in as many matches at an economy rate of 7.43 in CPL 2020 as the Knight Riders won 12 consecutive games and, eventually, their fourth CPL title.
Ali Khan’s exploits in T20 leagues before the IPL
But, Ali Khan has been a consistent performer for the past three years. Known to bowl at 140 clicks ad executing deadly yorkers at the death, Khan made the headlines in his first CPL season in 2018 after Trinbago captain DJ Bravo brought him to the league. He emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets in 12 matches, which made KKR keep him as a standby option in IPL 2019.
Though he didn’t get to feature in the IPL, Khan has had successful stints with the Karachi Kings (Pakistan Super League), Khulna Titans (Bangladesh Premier League) and Kabul Zwanan (Afghanistan Premier League).
The fast bowler has been an integral part of the USA team, as well. His notable performances include picking three wickets in the 49th over against Namibia in 2019 – after the equation had come down to 14 off 12 – to keep USA’s pursuit of ODI status alive. Khan was also the Man of the Match in USA’s first win against Kenya in 2018.Published 12 Sep 2020, 13:02 IST