USA fast bowler Ali Khan’s maiden stint in the IPL has ended on a disappointing note. The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer has been ruled out for the remainder of the competition due to a side strain. Ali Khan did not play a single game for the Kolkata-based franchise this season.
Ali Khan, who became the first player from USA to be signed by an IPL franchise, was carrying the injury with him from the CPL. KKR, however, let him train with the squad and waited for him to recover but the bowler failed to so.
Ali Khan was drafted into the KKR set-up after the Nottinghamshire left-arm paceman Harry Gurney suffered a shoulder injury ahead of the T20 Blast in England. The spinner came into limelight in 2018 when the then Trinbago Knight Riders captain Dwayne Bravo spotted him at the Global T20 Canada.
He went on to play for TKR that year and fully justified the decision by picking up 16 wickets in 12 matches in his debut season, the second-best among all fast bowlers in the competition. In this year’s CPL, he picked up 8 wickets as TKR won the title.
According to ESPNcricinfo, New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert has been roped in by KKR as Ali Khan’s replacement. A report in Stuff on Friday had mentioned that Northern Districts, Seifert’s domestic team, had “confirmed” that the cricketer “was another absentee [for the Plunket Shield] in coming weeks, summoned to the IPL as a replacement player”.
Tim Seifert is a T20 specialist and has represented New Zealand in 24 T20Is and three ODIs. He was Khan’s teammate during the TKR’s title-winning run at the CPL but didn’t really make a mark, scoring just 133 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 109.91.
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