The story noted that the match was the result of a challenge Khan’s predecessors had issued via The Harvard Crimson in 1887. Yale had finally responded 124 years later.
Among the players highlighted by the Globe was Khan. The recognition helped the college student grow not only as a leader, but also as a player.
“His performances up until that point were good but modest. But since then, he’s had some big performances,” Blyth said. “It’s interesting because the catalyst [was] the publicity, and it’s led to some really strong performances, winning a number of awards.”
The high-level cricket which developed as a result of this renewed focus on Khan’s play led to an outstanding senior season for the captain.
Khan took home various awards throughout the year, highlighted by his American College Cricket Player of the Year award in only his second true year of competitive cricket. He also was named ACC Tournament Player of the Year, ACC regular season MVP, and the Harvard Male Club Athlete of the Year.
His awards were indeed well-earned, as Khan led the ACC in both batting—by over 100 goals—and bowling for the year.
Aside from the renewed focus, Khan attributes his success on the field to a new realization he made while developing his game.
“I was naturally apprehensive because I feared getting out,” Khan said. “That changed when in our first game at nationals, we didn’t have anything to lose, and I went up to bat. I went all guns blazing, and I made a good score at a quick pace…. When I stopped thinking of the inhibitions, I’m a much better player.”
Khan’s performance helped Harvard win the ACC regular season championship.
At the national tournament, Harvard went 1-2 in pod play, an improvement from its winless showing in the previous year. A close loss to runner-up Auburn denied Harvard’s aspiration of taking home both the regular season and postseason title in Khan’s final season with the team.
While the Harvard cricket team looks like it will continue to prosper going forward, next year marks the first year in its youthful resurrected form that it will not be led by Khan, who plans to move to New York at the end of the school year.
Looking back on his time at Harvard, Khan expressed his honest surprise of the success that the team has experienced.
“To tell you the truth, the amount of success that we’ve gotten, I’m pleasantly surprised by it and very proud of it,” Khan said. “The amount of support we’ve gotten…it’s been a surprise in a pleasing way for me.”
While Harvard cricket will learn to move on in a new direction without Khan, the presence and impact he has left on the team will no doubt continue to influence the team, starting with his mantra.
“He was always the heart and soul of the Harvard cricket club,” Jayaram said. “Ibrahim was Harvard cricket. He’ll be remembered as the founder…. Without him we wouldn’t be here…. His lasting impact will always be ‘ball by ball, over by over.’ It’s our motto, it’s our spirit, it’s the way we approach the game, [and] it’s our strategy. And that’s Ibrahim.”