He will be the third Afghanistan player at the franchise alongside Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad
ESPNcricinfo has learned that Gurbaz, who went unsold at the IPL auction in February, is picked at his base price of INR 50 lakh (approx $66,000) for one season. It will be the first IPL stint for the 20-year-old.
Gurbaz will be a back-up for Australian wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, who is likely to open alongside Shubman Gill. It is understood Gurbaz was part of the shortlist of contenders Titans considered as Roy’s replacement. The list also included Australian batter Ben McDermott, who recently hit his maiden T20I half-century during the home series against Sri Lanka after having finished as the leading run scorer in the 2021-22 BBL. However, availability was a hurdle in McDermott’s case, so Titans settled for Gurbaz, who has been impressive since he first made headlines at the 2018 Under-19 World Cup where he played a key role in Afghanistan reaching the semi-final.
Titans’ squad along with their coaching staff will assemble in Ahmedabad on March 13 for a preparatory camp at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The camp will be prefaced by the mandatory three-day quarantine, and is understood to start from March 17 and last till March 24. Titans’ contingent will then head to Mumbai for their first match on March 28 against Super Giants.
This main camp follows a short camp Titans conducted in Vadodara, which was attended by just five Indian players under the supervision of Nehra. Along with Pandya, the other four players were Varun Aaron, Rahul Tewatia, young Karnataka batter Abhinav Manohar and Vidarbha fast bowler Darshan Nalkande.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo