‘Next Stop Dubai’: USA Cricket’s globetrotter Ali Khan sets foot on unique IPL dream
USA Cricket’s Ali Khan clocks up to speed of novel IPL dream
- Sep 13, 2020
A name like Ali Khan might not be a rare name in Asia, but the Pakistan-born Ali Khan is bigger than his name. In fact, like many other cricketers, Muhammad Ahsan Ali Khan decided to go by a name easier to remember and a career hard to forget. Like a certain Luteru Ross Poutoa, Lote Taylor chose to be Rosco, the man in question has chosen to be Ali Khan.
If you’re in India and you google the name ‘Ali Khan’, one is bound to find Sara Ali Khan’s names on the top. But if you’re keen to know about the latest Kolkata Knight Riders recruit for IPL 2020, and you’ve ended up here, you’ll certainly know all you have to about the USA cricket’s fast bowler. And, mind you, he’s rising on the top after all the Indian Premier League fame is something undeniably huge.
Born and raised in Attock, Pakistan, this Asian wayfarer found his way to the United States of America at the age of 18 and settled in the Ohio state. Soon he would begin to follow what most Asian youngsters dream of- to play the magical sport called cricket. A regular in multiple private T20 tournaments in America, Khan was yet to find the fame he desired. It only came true when ICC Americas, an international body which supervises cricket in countries across North and South America, and the Caribbean, conducted an open trial at Indianapolis in September 2015.
For a deeper knowledge, 21 players from Canada, USA, Bermuda and Suriname were handpicked to play for an ICC Americas regional team in the Nagico Super50 tournament in January 2016. These 21 cricketers were also fast-tracked into the second phase of a trial organized the Americas regional office in Indianapolis, also in September 2015. Although Khan didn’t make the 21-man cut, his was one of the 300 applications that received from the USA to compete in the first phase of the open trial, which had begun on September 18 in Indianapolis.
It was Ali Khan's impressive pace and ability to bowl neat yorkers that gained him the attention of coaches present at the trial, and that led to him being incorporated into the 15-man combined ICC Americas squad which played the Nagico Super50 competition conducted by the now-defunct WICB. Eventually, he made it to the Caribbean Premier League as a part of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in 2016 and on his debut game he bagged the wicket of Sangakkara on the very first delivery he bowled in the CPL. In that same year, Khan earned his American citizenship and merited a place in the USA cricket squad for the 2016 Auty Cup and ICC WCL Division Four in Los Angeles.
Since then, there has been no looking back for the pacer who featured in USA’s first ODI after they gained the associate One Day International status in April 2019. The game was a part of the 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division Two, and Ali ended up being the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 17 wickets in 6 matches. Now, Ali -who has played in the Pakistan Super League for the Karachi Kings- is soaring at a whole different height with the wings of IPL dreams being his driving force. IPL-bound players of the CPL 2020 winning team, Trinbago Knight Riders, were seen taking a flight to the UAE where the marquee T20 league is being staged. As Dwayne Bravo posted a video of the flight to the UAE, on his Instagram, with Ali Khan among others, fans knew there’s a new face to look forward to in IPL 13. Ali Khan will accoutre himself in the Kolkata Knight Riders jersey, as Harry Gurney’s replacement in IPL 2020, the first-ever USA cricketer to do so.
About The Author -