Ali Khan’s long-awaited debut for USA has hit another setback © CPL/Sportsfile
USA fast bowler Ali Khan is likely to miss at least the first two games of ICC WCL Division Four and could be out for the entire tournament after he re-injured his left hamstring in a USA training session earlier this week in Los Angeles. The Guyana Amazon Warriors pacer is an integral part of USA’s bowling plans but USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake tried to remain optimistic about Ali’s possibility to play a part in the tournament.
“Ali Khan is one of the best that we have and he actually has the capacity to change a game on his own so we are really looking forward for him to get 100% fit and play for us,” Dassanayake told ESPNcricinfo. “Right now, he is around 80%, still need some more work to be done. I’m not sure about the first day whether he is going to be ready but I’m going to make sure that he’s going to be ready for the last three games where the crucial time comes in this tournament. Right now the target is for him to be ready for next Tuesday.”
Ali initially suffered a left hamstring strain on September 20 at a USA national camp in Indianapolis which caused him to miss the Auty Cup against Canada earlier this month. According to a team source, Ali was 100% fit on arrival in Los Angeles on October 23 and bowled six overs without any problems at the start of the team’s training session on Monday. However, it was while running in to begin this second spell, after cooling down, that he re-injured the leg and pulled up.
Dassanayake had initially planned to play Ali in USA’s warm-up match against a Southern California Cricket Association on Tuesday as a means of proving his match fitness after missing the Auty Cup. However, that plan was scratched on Monday and the tentative plan is for Ali to sit out USA’s first two games against Bermuda and Italy on October 29 and 30. A rest day follows on Monday before USA’s third match against Oman on November 1.
According to a team source, an option has been discussed to possibly give Ali a cortisone injection in an effort to aid his recovery but that is seen as a last resort. Southern California medium-pacer Hammad Shahid, who took Ali’s spot for the Auty Cup and turned in figures of 2 for 36 and 1 for 18 in a combined 18 overs against Canada, is in line to be called up to the USA squad for Division Four if Ali is not passed fit by Monday night on the eve of the Oman match.
“If he has to go beyond the Oman game, then we have to make that decision but I’m hopeful,” Dassanayake said. “He was doing some rehab stuff for the last three or four days and now our physio is here. Everything is pretty decently organised and we are putting that effort for him to get better. I’m confident that he’ll be ready for that game but if not, then still we have to make a decision around Monday night.”
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo