Trinbago Knight Riders have a new star on the team and it became possible because of a keen eye of skipper Dwayne Bravo.
Speaking at the press conference on Saturday Bravo revealed how he spotted the impressive young fast bowler Muhammad Ali Khan. “I went to the US to play in a cricket tournament, the US Open and I saw this young man. I told my brother (Darren Bravo) who was playing on the same team with us that this boy has some talent. I took his contact information and promised that I will try my best to have him included with us in the TKR set up for the CPL.”
Dwayne, Darren, Ali Khan and Hamza Tariq all TKR men played for the US All-Stars team during the tournament 2017. They reached the final before losing to little known Somerset Cavilliers at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort. Lauderdale, USA.
Ali opened the bowling for the US All-Stars on that occasion and he impressed everyone so much that he got included on the team for the Global T20 league in Canada.
Again Ali impressed him with his fast, incisive bowling and from that point, Bravo was convinced that he wanted him on the TKR team. Ali is no stranger to the CPL having been selected by the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the 2015 and 2016 tournaments. He played one game in two years and in that game he scalped the legendary Kumar Sangakkara.
Ali went back to Ohio in the US and worked on his skill and game. He kept a close relationship with chairman of Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) Mahammad Qureshi and this helped him in terms of getting opportunities to ply his trade and develop. Ali came through the ranks playing at the US Open T20 and this was the only opportunity he got to rub shoulders with international players.
His passion for the game is remarkable as he normally drives five hours one-way with his trusted friend Farhan Ali Khan to play weekend cricket in Chicago. Playing on Astro turf wickets he has transitioned nicely to turf pitches. He has taken 15 wickets for the TKR this season in impressive fashion.
In the semi-final, on Friday night he sent back world boss Chris Gayle for a ‘duck’ in the first over.
Bravo said Ali has been pivotal to his team’s success: “Ali has played a big part in our success. He gives us those early breakthroughs and also every time I go to him he delivers. Being an American player he does not have too many opportunities but now that he has gotten a chance to show the world what he can do, the future looks good for him. I am very happy for him as he has made the best of this opportunity by showing the world what he can do.