IPL 2023 – Kolkata Knight Riders acquire Lockie Ferguson Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Gujarat Titans

IPL 2023 - Kolkata Knight Riders acquire Lockie Ferguson Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Gujarat Titans

Ferguson’s addition strengthens KKR’s pace stocks that boast of Australia’s Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins, fellow New Zealander Tim Southee and India’s Umesh Yadav and Shivam Mavi. Ferguson’s signing marks his return to the set-up he was part of between 2019 and 2021. He has also represented Rising Pune Supergiant.

Ferguson, who was signed for INR 10 crore (five times his base price) at the February auction this year, played a key role for Titans in their inaugural season. He picked up 12 wickets in 13 games at an economy of 8.95 and a best of 4 for 27. He also bowled the fastest ball of the season, clocked at 157.3kph, to Jos Buttler in the final.

He picked up seven wickets in five games during New Zealand’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia, where they lost in the semi-finals to Pakistan.

The addition of Afghanistan’s Gurbaz gives KKR more wicketkeeping options. It’s an area they struggled with in the IPL 2022, with neither Sheldon Jackson nor B Indrajith managing to nail their positions in the XI.

Gurbaz, who had listed himself at a base price of INR 50 lakh, went unsold initially before being signed by Titans as a replacement for England’s Jason Roy. Gurbaz spent the entire 2022 season on the bench with the Titans preferring the experience of Matthew Wade and Wriddhiman Saha at different times.

Gurbaz has already featured in overseas leagues such as the PSL, CPL, BPL, LPL and Abu Dhabi T10 League. In 99 T20s overall, he has struck at 152.48, while accruing 2481 runs with 16 half-centuries and a century.

On Friday, Royal Challengers Bangalore traded Australia fast bowler Jason Behrendorff to Mumbai Indians. They had signed Behrendorff for his base price of INR 75 lakh but didn’t field him in any of the games this season.

In addition to the purse remaining from the previous auction and the value of the players they release, teams have been given an additional INR 5 crore to spend at this auction, making the overall purse INR 95 crore (approx. US $11.5 million).

KKR, the two-time champions, finished the last season seventh with six wins and eight losses.

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