Growing up playing tapeball in the street as a teenager, Kashif Ali is setting his sights on becoming a professional cricketer.
After impressing on the MCC Young Cricketers programme, he top-scored for Essex second XI against Kent at Canterbury last summer and appeared on the radar of second XI coach Min Patel.
The 20-year-old was born in Kashmir before moving to Bedfordshire and playing street cricket with a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape, a form of the game popular in Pakistan.
He was spotted by a local scout and progressed through club cricket to selection for the MCCYC squad training at Lord’s.
With expert coaching and facilities at the Home of Cricket, his game has progressed with his burgeoning batting and occasional leg breaks making him an exciting prospect.
Former Kent and England spinner Patel saw promise and recommended Kashif for a Kent Cricket Academy scholarship.
Predominantly a top-order batsman, the right-hander had the chance to work with Kent captain Sam Billings this winter before his spell in the Indian Premier League.
Kashif said: “He spoke to me about playing straight and getting the basics right. Once you’re in and set, you can get big runs but you need to keep it simple. It’s great to learn from someone with so much experience and it built my confidence in white-ball cricket.”
KIMS Hospital is the proud sponsor of the Kent Cricket Academy programme