In a shocking turn of events, the Kolkata-based franchise have announced the signing of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Lockie Ferguson ahead of the Indian T20 League mini-auction. Both the cricketers were part of the Gujarat franchise in the previous season and now have been traded to the east coast of India. Lockie, who picked up 12 wickets from 13 matches, has proved himself in the competition and thus his release remains to be a matter of speculation whereas Gurbaz didn’t get an opportunity to prove himself in the last season.
Lockie, who featured for Kolkata in the past picked up 18 wickets in 21 matches for the Knights. The Shreyas Iyer-led side wanted to get their hands on Lockie in the previous season but failed to match the price Gujarat Paid. Instead, Kolkata bought Pat Cummins and Tim Southee as their two foreign pacers. Now, in Lockie’s presence, the team might release any of the two speedsters.
When it comes to Gurbaz, he has proved himself multiple times in international cricket. He is likely to replace Aaron Finch in the squad but his selection in the playing XI looks difficult as the team is planning to retain Alex Hales, who missed the 15th edition of the Indian T20 League. However, with two exciting signings, the team is raring to go to lift their third trophy in history.
“New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has been traded from Gujarat to Kolkata for the upcoming Indian T20 League 2023. He played 13 matches for the Gujarat franchise and picked 12 wickets that included a 4-wicket haul,” the Indian Cricket Board announced in a statement on Sunday.
Jason Behrendorff to join Mumbai
“Kolkata team have also traded Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Gujarat. He was included in the Gujarat squad in the 2022 Indian T20 League as a replacement for England batter Jason Roy but did not play any game last season,” the statement also read.
Kolkata is not the only team who’s busy shopping at the trading window. The five-time champion Mumbai too has done their homework and acquired the services of Jason Behrendorff ahead of the 16th edition of the marquee tournament. The left-arm seamer has played just five matches in the history of the tournament and picked up five matches in the process.
Now, despite being a part of the Bangalore franchise in the last season, the Aussie international didn’t play a single match and that’s what made it easy for him to switch sides.