Peter Moores has hailed the hard work put in by Kabir Ali and Lancashire's medical staff as the fast bowler edges closer to making his first-team debut for the Red Rose county.
Ali has been out of action since mid-March with a right knee injury, first suffered whilst bowling at the Bangladesh Premier League, where he jarred it in the bowler’s foot holes. He has not played since February 2.
But the ex-England star is currently playing in a second XI three-day match against Yorkshire at Liverpool, which has been heavily affected by the weather.
Ali signed a two-year deal with Lancashire last November after opting to leave Hampshire. He played one Test and 14 one-day internationals between 2003 and 2006, taking a total of 23 wickets.
“Kabir has done really well,” said coach Moores. “You will see he has lost some weight and conditioned himself really well.
“He is skillful, we know that. We are not going to rush it. We have good options in the seam department anyway, but what we have when Kabir gets fit is a skillful bowler with lots of experience.
“He has really thrown his heart and soul into it. Our medical team are outstanding, they are giving him great support.
“He knows it is a tough side to get in now. He takes his wickets at a good rate, and he is an option for Championship cricket. In one-day cricket, he is a bit of a specialist at bowling at the start and end of the innings.”
Ali’s bowling duties will be limited against the White Rose twos: “A lot of it is about seeing if there's any reaction to his knee,” explained Moores. “He'll keeping strengthening it, and we'll keep upping his workload. When we think he's fit enough to go and play a competitive game without being at any real risk, he'll be available.”
Ali is just 17 away from reaching 500 first-class wickets in his career.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh