KXIP ropes in Kumble, Ashwin to stay

R. Ashwin will stay back at Kings XI Punjab, the franchise’s co-owner, Ness Wadia, has confirmed.

For the last couple of months, speculations were rife that the India spin ace — who led the team in the last edition of the Indian Premier League — may be ‘traded’ to Delhi Capitals. But speaking to Sportstar, the Kings co-owner, has categorically denied such possibilities. “Ashwin is an integral part of the team and he will continue to remain so. You know the value Ashwin brings to the team,” Wadia said, adding that “there is no question of letting him go.”

The window for trading players closes on November 14.

The franchise has also roped in former India captain and erstwhile national coach, Anil Kumble as its director of cricket operations, who will also work as the head coach.

Kumble — who has previously been associated with some of the other IPL franchises — will be working with a star-studded coaching staff. While former Australia captain, George Bailey, will be the batting coach, India spinner, Sunil Joshi has been roped in as the assistant coach for the side. And if all things fall in place, former South African cricketer, Jonty Rhodes, is set to take charge as the fielding coach.

The co-owner also admitted that with Kumble around, Kings XI’s Indian players will be able to communicate better. “He understands the Indian mindset and can bond pretty well with all the players. I am sure he will inspire the whole team,” Wadia said.

The franchise will also take a call on the strategy and pick a captain after consulting with Kumble. “He has just taken over and all the cricketing decisions will eventually be taken by him,” Wadia said.


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