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TKR bowler Ali Khan

Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) fast bowler Muhammad Ali Khan says that the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-final loss to the Barbados Tridents last year still hurts.

Khan in an exclusive interview with Guardian Media Sports said he has not gotten over that loss mentally. “I have not mentally recovered from that loss to Barbados Tridents last year and it still hurts.”

Barbados Tridents batted first at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and scored 160/6 after at one stage being 112/6. Ali Khan bowled well and ended with two wickets in his four-over spell. TKR in response slipped from a position of strength at 54/2 to be all out for 148 – losing the encounter by 12 runs. The Tridents led by Jason Holder eventually went on to win the title denying TKR a hattrick of titles.

Khan said he is looking forward to coming back to T&T to join the TKR as he has unfinished business. “I have heard talk that the CPL will not start on time which is mid-August but I am looking forward to it to play at least later on. There is a possibility that it may be played in December or January as well because they don’t want to clash with the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is going to play at some time.

“I am looking forward to coming back to Trinidad a place I love to join up with my teammates at the TKR and to fight and get back our trophy. We have a great bunch of guys and a great leader in DJ (Dwayne Bravo) and we will be back. I always like playing under this guy because he gives me so much support and confidence in my cricket. I could be struck for two fours or sixes back to back and he will still come to me and back me. Last year Kieron Pollard was also great for us and I enjoyed playing under him as well.”

Khan said he has been busy during the lockdown in Ohio where he lives in the United States. “I have used this period in quarantine to get stronger. I have a very good friend who is a fitness instructor and he has been sending me stuff to do. Sometimes I go for a run just to keep the cardio up but all in all, when I return to cricket, I will be stronger.”

With talk going around that CPL made be played without foreign players this year, Khan said: “I come under the banner of a local

player and not a foreign player so whatever is the case, I will be there fighting for me team.”

The tournament is carded to begin August 19 with a clash between the TKR and the St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain. Recently Chief Operations Officer (C00) of CPL Pete Russell stated that with the Covid 19 pandemic going on the start is not confirmed but they are hoping to get the tournament off as soon as they get the all-clear from Cricket West Indies (CWI).