Kabir comeback ahead of schedule

He missed most of his first Hampshire season through injury but Kabir Ali’s comeback is ahead of schedule.

Kabir began his first season with Hampshire by taking 19 wickets at 25 runs apiece in the opening four LV County Championship games before sustaining a knee cartilage injury last May.

But he is already bowling again and Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove, who spent a fortnight with the squad during their recent trip to Barbados, is encouraged by what he has seen.

“Kabir looks fitter than I’ve ever seen him,” said Bransgrove. “There’s a change in him, his body shape has changed and he is very, very focused.

“It’s a bit of a long shot but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in England contention by the end of the season.

“He was one of the best bowlers in the country before the injury and has done an enormous amount of work with our physio Craig De Weymarn and fitness coach Iain Brunnschweiler to get himself right.

“It would be no surprise if Kabir gets right back to his best. He’s a lot more sleek now and that should assist him.”

Hampshire play a two-day friendly at The Rose Bowl against Surrey on March 30-31 before Middlesex visit for a further warm-up fixture at the start of the following week.

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