Kolkata Knight Riders have signed fast Bowler Ali Khan as a replacement for injured England pacer Harry Gurney. Harry Gurney, the English paceman decided to pull out of the IPL as well as England’s Vitality Blast due to shoulder injury last month.Gurney is now scheduled to go under Shoulder surgery in September.
His replacement, 29-year old Ali Khan will be first player from USA to feature in the IPL. Ali has been KKR’s radar for couple of years, he was one of the standbys last year also. And luckily, Gurney’s shoulder injury paved way for him this year.
Ali was part of Knight Riders CPL franchise – Trinbago Knight Riders in just concluded Caribbean Premier League 2020. Ali Khan played an important role for TKR as he picked eight wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.4.
The news of his contract broke out when he was seen on an Instagram stories post by Dwayne Bravo. In a picture shot inside a plane, Bravo posted a photo with Ali Khan captioning “next stop Dubai”.
Ali Khan was also the part of last year’s IPL auction but missed out on a contract. But he was happy after seeing his name in IPL players draft only. In an interview after registration for the IPL auction, he had said “First of all, it’s a great honour to be the only USA player in the draft. I was in the auction last year but wasn’t picked, which was tough as I thought my chances were pretty good. This year, if I get picked, it’ll be something of a bonus. Since I started playing seriously, the IPL has been the one I’ve targeted. It’d be a dream come true,” to Sport Star.
Now that he has become part of Kolkata Knight Riders, given a chance in XI, he would look to repeat his CPL heroics. He is kinda specialist for slog overs as his strengths are his speeds and the yorker that he can deliver at more than 140+ clicks regularly.
However, it will be a challenge for him to break into a formidable first XI of Kolkata Knight Riders. With only four overseas players allowed in XI, KKR have plenty in the form of Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Tom Banton, Chris Green and Lockie Ferguson.