Gujarat Titans have signed Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz as a replacement for the England batter Jason Roy, for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, the league confirmed on Wednesday.
Gurbaz, the wicketkeeper-batter, has played 20 T20Is for Afghanistan and has 534 runs against his name with the help of three half-centuries since making his senior international debut in 2019. He also became the first Afghan batter to score a century on ODI debut — a feat he achieved against Ireland at Abu Dhabi in 2021.
The 20-year-old, who joins Gujarat Titans at his base price of Rs 50 Lakh, will be the third Afghanistan cricketer alongside Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad to feature for the franchise. It will also be the first IPL stint for Gurbaz.
Titans were forced to look for a replacement after England opener Roy pulled out last month, citing the challenge of staying in the tournament bubble for an extended period. Roy, who has taken an indefinite break from cricket, was bought by Gujarat at the auction for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
“Whilst it is disappointing that Jason will not be a part of our campaign this year, we are mindful of the health and well-being of players in these times. We wish Jason well and look forward to his return to the field. Rahmanullah Gurbaz is one of the promising young batters to emerge from Afghanistan and we believe he is an ideal replacement for Jason,” said Vikram Solanki, Director of Cricket, Gujarat Titans.
“Gurbaz is an attacking batter and fits into our plans for the Gujarat Titans. He has given a good account of his talent in international cricket and a few tournaments around the globe,” he added.
Gujarat Titans, who will be making their IPL debut this year, will face Lucknow Super Giants in their first game of the IPL 2022 on March 28 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.