Rahmanullah Gurbaz made his first appearance in this season of the IPL, leaving his hospitalized mother in Afghanistan. The wicketkeeper-batsman played a significant role in Kolkata Knight Riders' victory, helping them reach the final. Gurbaz's quickfire knock of 23 set up Kolkata's chase of 160 as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in Ahmedabad.

It was an emotional decision for the 22-year-old to leave his ailing mother, but he responded to the call from his team after Phil Salt departed to prepare for England's T20 World Cup campaign. Gurbaz stated, "My mum is still sick. I went back to Afghanistan. KKR called me and asked, 'Gurbaz, we need you. What is your situation?' I replied, 'I'll come.'

Gurbaz had joined Kolkata in the previous season but had limited playing time. He flew back home to be with his mother but returned when his team needed him the most. He said, "My mother is still recovering in the hospital, I speak to her every day. But I knew my KKR is also my family. They needed me here, so I came back from Afghanistan. It's hard, it's tough, but I have to manage."

During the match against Hyderabad, Gurbaz took two catches as they were bowled out for 159, with Mitchell Starc's figures of 3-34. Gurbaz then smashed a 14-ball knock, including two fours and two sixes, to set the pace for Kolkata's chase in 13.4 overs and secure their spot in the IPL final, their fourth appearance.

Gurbaz, who has played 55 T20 matches for Afghanistan, will be a key member of the team at the upcoming World Cup. Despite most Afghan players being in the West Indies, Gurbaz's focus remains on the IPL final, with KKR being his first priority. The final will take place on Sunday in Chennai. Hyderabad will have another chance to make the decider when they face the winner of Wednesday's game between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday.