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IPL 2022: Rahmanullah Gurbaz likely to replace Jason Roy at Gujarat Titans

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New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Gujarat Titans are likely to sign Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz as a replacement for England opener Jason Roy, who pulled out of the IPL 2022 last month.

It will be the first IPL stint for Gurbaz, who had a base price of Rs 50 lakh and went unsold at the IPL auction in February. He will be joining compatriots Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad in the Gujarat team. While Rashid had been acquired by the franchise pre-auction, Noor, who recently featured in the Under-19 World Cup, was bought in the auction.

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Titans, who will make their IPL debut this season, were forced to look for a replacement after 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.

The wicketkeeper-batter Gurbaz is not exactly a like-for-like replacement for the hard-hitting England opener but the Gujarat team management has taken the decision keeping the current Wriddhiman Saha issue in mind. Saha is expected to be their first choice keeper but they wanted to have a backup option so as not to be caught off-guard by an unexpected turn of events, a Cricbuzz report said.

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The Titans have another wicketkeeper, Matthew Wade, in their ranks but as Cricket Australia (CA) has already decreed, the contracted Australian players will not be playing in the IPL till April 6. Notably, the IPL 2022 starts on March 26 and Gujarat Titans play fellow-debutants Lucknow Super Giants in their first game on March 28.

The contract papers of Gurbaz have been sent for the approval of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The 20-year-old has played nine ODIs and 20 T20Is for Afghanistan till now.

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–IANS

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Ananya Panday

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Pragya Jaiswal

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