Amidst the reports suggesting that Kings XI Punjab will trade their captain R Ashwin to Delhi Capitals, Ness Wadia, the co-owner of the franchise, has announced that Ashwin will stay with KXIP. Although he confirmed that the franchise held talks but a final decision wasn’t taken.
“The (KXIP) Board had a rethink and it realised 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,” he told PTI.
As per a report in Mumbai Mirror few weeks back, the deal between the two franchises was almost done but was delayed due to monetary issues. The Kings XI Punjab, recently, confirmed Anil Kumble as their Director of Cricket and this saw the deal not being finalised. Had the monetary issues not come up, the deal would have been done last month.
Kumble is a big supporter of Ashwin due to his bowling skills. In 2017, Ashwin had said that he will retire from Test cricket once he will get to 618 wickets, one short that Kumble’s tally of 619. He is India’s highest wicket-taker across formats.
Ashwin, who was a surprise pick as captain in 2018, led the team brilliantly in the first half. At halfway stage, KXIP looked set to qualify for the playoffs but a break during the tournament saw their performance being affected and they won one out of seven matches that they played in the second half, also finishing at the seventh spot in the points table
In IPL 2019, KXIP again failed to qualify for the playoffs as they won six out of 14 matches. Since then, there were reports that the franchise might release Ashwin.
Now when Ashwin has been confirmed to stay with KXIP, it remains to be seen if he will be leading the team or not. KL Rahul, who is tipped to be team’s future captain, might replace Ashwin as captain if the franchise brings about a change.
In 2020, KXIP will have a new coaching staff head by Kumble. Sunil Joshi and Courtney Walsh will assist him. Jonty Rhodes is also in line to join the team as fielding coach.