Kings XI Punjab have opted to retain the services of Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, according to the franchise’s co-owner Ness Wadia.
Earlier, it was reported that the Punjab team was considering trading their skipper Ashwin to the Delhi Capitals.
However, on the advise of their newly appointed head coach Anil Kumble, the team has decided to not let go of the all-rounder. Kumble, who replaced Mike Hesson in the role, is currently the only Indian coach in the IPL. He previously served as a mentor for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.
“The (KXIP) Board had a rethink and it realized that Ashwin is an integral part of the team. There were discussions with Delhi Capitals but those discussions never came to fruition. The way he plays his cricket and his performances speak for him,” Wadia was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The 33-year-old Ashwin has been the captain of the team for the past two seasons. Under his captaincy, they failed to qualify for the play-offs in both seasons, finishing seventh in 2018 and sixth most recently in 2019. Kings XI Punjab has never won the IPL title and have only qualified for the knockouts twice. Their best ever season of the IPL was the 2014 edition in which they finished runners-up to Chennai Super Kings.
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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.