IPL 2020: KKR's Ali Khan becomes first American player to play IPL
Guwahati: Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) have roped in USA’s 29-year-old fast bowler Ali Khan, making him the first USA player in the history to feature in the IPL.
The former IPL champions, KKR has signed Khan as a replacement for the English pacer Harry Gurney, who pulled out of both IPL and England's Vitality Blast series last month as he is scheduled to undergo a surgery related to a shoulder injury.
Khan comes in on the back of a good season with KKR’s sister franchise Trinbago Knight Riders, in the Caribbean Premier League(CPL) 2020, in which they remained unbeaten the whole tournament, winning all 12 matches to lift the trophy. The 29-year-old picked up eight wickets in eight matches with an impressive economy rate of 7.43. He was a standby player for KKR in the IPL 2019.
Khan’s claim to fame on the T20-league stage came during the 2018 Global T20 Canada, where he caught the attention of the the then Trinbago captain Dwayne Bravo, who bought the young speedstar to the CPL. In the debut season itself, Khan picked up 16 wickets in 12 matches playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors, dismissing Kumar Sangakkara with his first delivery of the tournament. He picked up the second-most number of wickets by a fast bowler in the season.
Khan, who can hit speeds of 140+kph is known to have a very good Yorker and loves bowling in the slog overs. Khan can prove to be a very good addition to the KKR side, especially in the absence of Harry Gurney, who bowled the bulk of the slog overs for KKR.
Although, Ali Khan becomes the the first USA player to play in the IPL, interestingly, Rusty Theron, a former South Africa bowler, did feature in the IPL for the Kings XI Punjab in 2010, the now defunct Deccan Chargers in 2011 and the Rajasthan Royals in 2015. Theron , who was a key member of the South African circket team moved to USA from South Africa in 2019.