Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal is reportedly said to join as a backup player for Gujarat Titans, one of the two new IPL franchises, in IPL 2022. Gujarat Titans will be led by Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya in their maiden season of the cash-rich league. Gujarat Titans had also roped in Indian batter Shubman Gill and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan in its initial draft signings. The CVC Capital-owned franchise purchased 20 players – 13 Indians and seven overseas- in the IPL 2022 auction.
Ahead of the season, the franchise was dented with a blow after England batter Jason Roy pulled out of the tournament citing bubble fatigue as the reason. Gujarat Titans named Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz as the replacement of Roy in their squad.
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik received the clearance to play in the IPL 2022 after the all-rounder passed the ‘Yo-Yo’ Test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. According to a report by Sportskeeda, a source, close to the development, said that Panchal is likely to join Gujarat Titans as a backup player soon.
Panchal has scored 1327 runs in 50 T20 matches at a strike rate of 126.98 in domestic cricket. The Gujarat captain accumulated 188 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 135.25 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22 season.
He scored 79 off 57 balls including six boundaries and three sixes against Madhya Pradesh to push Gujarat’s total to 162/3 in the first innings, the latter won by 50 runs as MP were bowled out at 112 in 18.3 overs. Panchal also led India A team in the three unofficial Test matches against South Africa A in November last year.
The 31-year-old was named replacement for Rohit Sharma in India’s Test squad for the South Africa Test series, albeit, he didn’t play a single Test. Gujarat Titans will play their first match against fellow IPL debutants Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on March 28 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.