Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo
Rajasthan Royals have signed New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram as a replacement for the injured Paul Collingwood. Oram has been signed for $250,000, which is what the franchise paid for Collingwood in the player auction in January. IPL rules preclude teams from signing replacement players at a higher value than the player they are replacing.
Oram had an excellent World Cup with the ball, taking 12 wickets at an average of 18.41. His standout performance came in New Zealand's upset victory over South Africa in the quarter-finals. In that game, he took 4 for 39 and pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Jacques Kallis to earn the Man-of-the-Match award.
"He [Oram] fits in that kind of slot like Collingwood, a middle-order batsman who bowls," a franchise official told ESPNcricinfo. "And he really hits the ball hard. Also his recent performance in the World Cup was fantastic, especially in the quarter-finals against South Africa. It is not the main reason [we picked him], but it helps to have a player in form."
A few days ago Oram told One News that he was looking forward to a stint in the IPL, though he refused to divulge the name of the franchise he was negotiating with at the time. "I'm only a replacement for an injured guy, which is ironic, but I'm going to look forward to going over there and playing well, and who knows, maybe pick up a gig for next year and my career might just keep going on and on."
Collingwood is set to undergo surgery for a damaged cartilage in his right knee next week, and will not recover in time to participate in the tournament that begins on April 8.