Abu Dhabi: The IPL is set to see participation of a player from the USA for the first time with Kolkata Knight Riders roping in fast bowler Ali Khan for the upcoming 13th edition of the league.
The two-time winners will pick the 29-year-old fast bowler — pending IPL approval — as a replacement for the English seamer Harry Gurney, according to an ESPNcricinfo.com report.
Gurney is scheduled to have surgery related to a shoulder injury, and has pulled out of both the IPL and England’s Vitality Blast last month.
Khan’s signing will make him the first USA player to feature in the IPL.
Khan was part of the Trinbago Knight Riders’ squad which remained unbeaten on the way to their CPL title win on Thursday. He picked up eight wickets from as many matches with an economy rate of 7.43.
He was on KKR’s radar last season as well but no deal could be worked out.
The pacer burst on to the limelight during the 2018 Global T20 Canada, where he was spotted by star West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who brought him to the CPL. He had featured in the CPL All Star team that season.
Khan returned a haul of 16 wickets from 12 matches for Guyana Amazon Warriors that year, the second-most by a fast bowler in the season.
Bravo, in one of his Instagram stories, posted a video with Khan, Brendon McCullum and a few more inside a plane with the caption ‘Next stop Dubai’.
Former Rajasthan Royals bowler Rusty Theron, who now plays for USA, was part of the now defunct Deccan Chargers team in 2011 and Kings XI Punjab in 2010. But Theron, who was part of the Royals in 2015, moved to USA from South Africa in 2019.
Khan can hit speeds in excess of 140kph and is known to have a good yorker.
The Dinesh Karthik-led KKR Riders will start their campaign against Mumbai Indians on September 23.