Confirmed: This Sri Lankan Player named as Kane Williamson's Replacement at Gujarat Titans
In a new development, defending champions Gujarat Titans have named Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka as a replacement for the injured Kane Williamson for the ongoing IPL 2023 season. Williamson suffered an on-field injury to his right leg while attempting a catch during the tournament opener against CSK at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
The Kiwi was seen clutching his knee in pain and was immediately carried off the field with B Sai Sudharsan replacing him via Impact Player rule. A day later, scan reports revealed he was ruled out of the entire IPL 2023 tournament and left for home for further assessment.
Speaking after Williamson's injury, GT director of cricket Vikram Solanki said in a press release, "It is sad to lose Kane to injury so early in the tournament. We wish him a speedy recovery, with the hope of seeing him in action very soon."
Dasun Shanaka beats 'favourite' Steve Smith to earn his maiden IPL foray
However, there were rumours afloat of Aussie batter Steve Smith being the favourite to replace Willamson in the squad as a like-for-like replacement. Since the top-order batter was not part of the IPL auction, it negated his qualification chances.
This will be Shanaka's maiden appearance in IPL and has been roped in for his base price of INR 50 lakhs. Considered a fine asset in T20s, it was surprising when Shanaka had gone unsold at the IPL auction in December last year.
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The Sri Lankan limited overs skipper is in sublime form of late, as he scored 124 runs at a strike rate of 187 in the T20I series and 121 runs in the ODI contest in the recently held series in India.