Noor Ahmed, the Gujarat Titans player, dubbed his Afghan teammate ‘Google Khan’ Rashid Khan after his nine-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals on Friday, May 5, in Jaipur.

The defending champions outclassed the team captained by Sanju Samson in what looked to be a repeat of the IPL 2022 final. Titans bowlers Noor Ahmed (2/15) and Rashid Khan (3/14) looped a net around the middle order of the Royals as they were bowled out for a wicket-taking 118.

Noor cleaned Devdutt Padikkal with a magical googly and then trapped Dhruv Jurel for a leg before wicket with a similar type of delivery. Speaking about his performance against the Royals, Noor Ahmed told fellow Titans teammate Rashid Khan in a post-match interview:

“It was a good game and I tried to hit the right areas. Somehow I couldn’t make it but I did what I wanted.”

His left wrist spinner has caused 10 disposals in six games in IPL 2023 with an economy rate of 7.03. Noor Ahmed gave his teammate and spinning top titans the nickname Google Khan for guiding him throughout the tournament. Ahmed said:

“I’m having so much fun here and I’m so grateful to be playing on such a level, such a big stage. Especially when I have Rashid Khan at my side. He’s (my) Gugul Khan.”

“Noor Ahmed asked me questions anywhere” – Rashid Khan

Noor Ahmad was scouted during an open selection trial by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul in 2018. The miracle spinner did not sell in the 2019 and 2020 IPL auctions.

With his impressive performance in the 2019 AFC U-19 Cup, Noor Ahmed has never been far from the limelight. He made his way up the Big Bash League representing the Melbourne Renegades in the 2020-21 season.

It was only a matter of time for Noor to get over his IPL auction snub as he bagged INR 30,000 from Gujarat Titans in the 2022 mega auction. However, Noor didn’t get a game to play in Titans’ stunning title-winning campaign.

Talking about Noor Ahmed’s hard work to go a long way, Rashid Khan said:

“He’s a really steady, hard-working guy. Someone like that who works hard off the field. Since last year when we were together, it was the first time I spent a lot of time with him.”

he added:

“He didn’t get a chance to play all year but the hard work was here. Even though I had a session in the gym too, he would come and say ‘let’s play here’.”

Rashid Khan justified the Google Khan tag given to him by the 18-year-old because the youngster often posed questions and doubts to his rival.

“He (Noor Ahmed) would ask me questions anywhere. While eating, while training, in the gym, while traveling, everywhere he would ask me questions, which is great and he’s learning.”

Gujarat Titans currently lead the points table with 7 wins in 10 matches. They will play their next match against Lucknow Super Giants in Ahmedabad on Sunday, May 7.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay


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