Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin is reportedly on the verge of joining Delhi Capitals in an all-cash Indian Premier League trade (IPL) deal.
The 32-year-old has been associated with the Kings XI franchise since 2018 and has led the team in the past two editions of the IPL. According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, talks between the two franchises have been going on for months and a deal is now at an advanced stage.
Should Ashwin move to Delhi for the 2020 season, it will become the fourth franchise he has represented in the IPL in his career after previously turning out for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Super Giants.
The India off-spinner has a total experience of 139 IPL matches under his belt where he has managed to pick up 125 wickets at an excellent economy-rate of 6.79 runs an over.
For Kings XI Punjab, Ashwin picked up 10 and 15 wickets in the 2018 and 2019 editions respectively but the team failed to qualify for the play-offs in either years. They finished seventh in his first year as captain in 2018 before ending up in sixth spot in the most recent 2019 edition.
Ashwin’s impending move to Capitals will add to an already formidable spin contingent at the Delhi franchise which also includes Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane and Mayank Markande among others.
Kings XI, meanwhile, are expected to name KL Rahul as their skipper for the next IPL edition. The Mohali-based franchise had recently parted ways with head coach Mike Hesson and his support staff with new appointments likely to be made in the near future.
Speculation about the future of former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson ended on Friday after IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore appointed him as their new director of cricket operations.
Hesson was recently interviewed by the BCCI for the post India’s head coach but lost out to incumbent Ravi Shastri. The Kiwi had been linked to the Pakistan coach job and was also seen as a front-runner to take over as Bangladesh coach. However, he turned down both offers.
Hesson, who had earlier resigned as coach of Kings XI Punjab, will now head operations at the perennially struggling RCB with former Australia batsman Simon Katich as head coach. Royal Challengers thus parted ways coach and mentor Gary Kirsten, along with bowling coach Ashish Nehra.
“RCB’s purpose is to be the most trusted, respected and best performing T20 franchise and hence our constant endeavour is to create a culture of excellence and high performance for every member of the team. To deliver this ambition we are very happy to announce the appointment of Mike Hesson and Simon Katich. We believe that Mike’s extensive experience in building strong teams along with Simon’s powerful cricket experience will help us create a winning culture,” Sanjeev Churiwala, chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said in a statement.
“As a result of this restructuring exercise, we will be moving to a single coach model. Consequently, we would like to thank Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra for their contribution over the past two seasons. They leave us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at Royal Challengers Bangalore wishes them all the best in the future,” he added.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is reportedly set to join the coaching set-up of IPL outfit Kolkata Knight Riders and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) side Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming seasons.
The 37-year-old recently announced that he was hanging up his playing boots after completing his stint for Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada and could be now set to transition into a coaching role.
According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the Kiwi icon is in line to become the KKR assistant coach for the 2020 edition of the IPL and the head coach for Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming season which gets underway on September 5.
Both the T20 franchises are owned by the same group – Knight Riders and McCullum has reportedly signed on for at least one season each in both competitions.
KKR had recently announced the departure of head coach Jacques Kallis and assistant coach Simon Katich from their roles following the team’s failure to qualify for the play-offs of the 2019 edition of the IPL.
McCullum has previously been associated with KKR as a player and wrote himself into the history books when he struck an explosive 158 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first-ever IPL clash in 2008.
McCullum had earlier this year expressed his desire to transition into a coaching role after announcing his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia.
The former Black Caps skipper was set to participate in the inaugural Euro T20 Slam later this month as an icon player for Glasgow Giants before he announced his retirement as a player on Monday.