India’s IPL: KKR touts ‘another mystery spinner’ from Afghanistan

The Kolkata Knight Riders, known as KKR, have introduced another mystery spinner from Afghanistan. Wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz was recently seen bowling in the nets.

Gurbaz has yet to play in KKR’s starting lineup this season, but the Afghan player might make his mark by showcasing his all-around skills. KKR has been successful in the 2024 Indian Premier League, winning five of their first seven matches.

The team’s official social media account shared a video of Gurbaz bowling a spin delivery in the nets under the supervision of KKR coaches. Gurbaz struck the stumps with his very first delivery and celebrated by spreading his arms in the air. The franchise captioned the post, “Another Afghani mystery spinner in our ranks.”

Afghanistan is known for producing exceptional mystery spinners who have challenged batters at the highest levels. The IPL has served as a platform for many Afghan spinners to display their talents, including Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and Mohammad Nabi, all of whom have excelled in the lucrative league. Gurbaz, already known for his prowess as a batter, might be the latest addition to this distinguished list.

The wicketkeeper-batter joined Gujarat Titans in 2023 for a base price of 5 million rupees, scoring 227 runs in seven matches at a strike rate of 133.53, including two half-centuries. He was traded to KKR at his base price ahead of IPL 2024. Phil Salt, who replaced Jason Roy, has been performing well as an opener alongside Sunil Narine.

With Narine already a key mystery spinner for KKR, it remains to be seen if Gurbaz will be introduced in a new role. KKR is set to host Punjab Kings in their next match on April 26, Friday, at Eden Gardens.