Hassan Khan takes center stage in Minor League Cricket in the United States.

Hassan Khan was Pakistan’s Under-19 World Cup captain in 2018.

There’s a slim likelihood that an 18-year-old would force Sir Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen to praise him on Twitter. But it would come as a surprise to those luminaries to learn that the kid wonder they lauded during their time with Quetta Gladiators, left-arm spinning all-rounder Hassan Khan, has only played 13 first-class games since that fateful day five years ago.

The former Pakistan U19 captain’s career has seen its fair share of ups and downs. With his performance with the Quetta Gladiators throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he was regarded as the next great thing in Pakistan cricket, battle-hardened in the dust bowls of Karachi. His penultimate ball six off Keiron Pollard in a frantic run chase launched him to immediate celebrity in Pakistan, although for a short period. Surprisingly, Hassan only played seven more games in the PSL over the next four seasons before being passed over in the 2023 season draft.

“I had just captained the Pakistan U19 team, and yes, that six in that run chase was what got me noticed in Pakistan.” People started inviting me to be the main attraction at various events and fundraisers, which made my family very happy. You might argue I had a shot at the PSL pretty early in my career, but I believe in fate. “No matter what anyone says or does, you will get what destiny has in store for you,” Hassan remarked.

While many of Khan’s U19 contemporaries, such as Shaheen Afridi and Musa Khan, went on to bigger honors, Hassan failed to have a breakthrough domestic season that would propel him to notoriety. After being denied a PSL contract, Hassan naturally sought brighter pastures, following a handful of his more prominent countrymen to Minor League Cricket in America.

Hassan has been productive with his all-around ability in his first minor league stint with the Chicago Kingsmen. He has relished his role as the Kingsmen’s “crisis man.” Despite playing in the lower middle order, he has blazed away with an average of 110 at a strike rate of 180 in 5 innings with three half centuries, outperforming great teammates such as Fawad Alam and Ravi Bopara. He repeated his heroic performance with the bat with the ball, suffocating the opposition on batting-friendly surfaces with an economy of 4.9 and 11 wickets in five innings.

“It’s great to be out here and performing like I did in the United States.” The additional duty imposed upon me as a professional brings out the best in me. It’s my self-belief; there’s no pressure to perform from the Kingsmen administration, and we’re properly cared for. It pays to play in such a situation,” Hassan noted.

Hassan has been selected by the Kingsmen as a domestic talent in the minor league, and his experience and pedigree as an all-round cricketer positions him to be the hottest pick in the Major League Cricket draft in 2024.