Chris Gayle And KL Rahul Love Kings XI Punjab's New Name Punjab Kings
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Chris Gayle And KL Rahul Love Kings XI Punjab’s New Name Punjab Kings

KL Rahul, Chris Gayle
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle said he loves Kings XI Punjab’s new name ‘Punjab Kings’, adding he believes a team is more than just 11 players echoing skipper KL Rahul’s statement. Punjab will head into the IPL auction on Thursday 18th February with the biggest purse among all franchises of Rs 53.4 crore.

The former finalists of IPL 2014 have rebranded themselves as Punjab Kings as they are hopeful of a change in fortunes in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The Punjab-based franchise made the official announcement on Wednesday, a day ahead of the mini-auction in Chennai on 18th February.

Chris Gayle (Photo: PTI)
Chris Gayle (Photo: PTI)

Chris Gayle And KL Rahul Love Kings XI Punjab’s New Name Punjab Kings

Captain KL Rahul and star batsman Chris Gayle, it seems, are in love with the new name as Punjab Kings are looking at branding makeover. While speaking to Star Sports on Thursday, captain KL Rahul who was the highest run-scorer and Orange Cap winner in IPL 2020 said Punjab Kings reflects the pulse of the team and that they realized an IPL franchise is just more than 11 players, adding it’s a cumulative effort of quite a few stakeholders.

“I liked the name Kings XI but the team is a lot more than just 11 players. We are supposed to be like a family, supposed to feel like a family, supposed to feel like a whole unit. I am quite confident that the change in name will bring us good fortune this year,” KL Rahul said.

KL Rahul With Preity Zinta (Instagram)
KL Rahul With Preity Zinta (Instagram)

Chris Gayle, who has been a key part of the Punjab Kings over the last few seasons, backed KL Rahul, saying: “Absolutely, I love it. Sometimes, it’s good to have a change as well. I like what KL said. It’s not about the 11 players. It’s going to get everyone more involved. Punjab Kings is the way to go.”

Co-owner Priety Zinta announced the change in name during the show and jokingly said that KL Rahul and Chris Gayle refused to play for them until they changed the name of the franchise to Punjab Kings.

Punjab Kings Didn’t Reach Playoffs In IPL 2020 Despite Winning 5 Matches On Trot

Punjab Kings did not reach the play-offs in IPL 2020 despite staging a stunning comeback, winning 5 games on the trot after a poor start. The Punjab-based franchise has only reached the play-offs twice so far in the IPL.

The Punjab franchise has never won IPL but was semi-finalists in 2008 and runners-up in 2014. Apart from the two occasions, they couldn’t reach playoffs in other editions. They were 6th in IPL 2020.

Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter
Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter

Glenn Maxwell was a total failure in IPL 2020 amassing only 108 runs in 13 games while another released player Karun Nair managed only 16 runs in 4 games. James Neesham picked only 2 scalps in 5 games besides scoring 19 runs and was subsequently released.

Ahead of the IPL 2021 Auction, Punjab Kings released as many as 9 players, including the likes of Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The Punjab-based side will have the biggest purse at the IPL 2021 auction — Rs 53.20 crore.

Retained players: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel.

Released players: Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh.