Only one of the few teams that are yet to win the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have made some big changes in their coaching department ahead of the new season. KXIP have brought in Indian cricket legend Anil Kumble as the head of the coaching staff for the 2020 IPL season. He will now be the director of cricket operations for the Punjab franchise.
KXIP have been looking for their first IPL title since its inception and are only one of the few sides to continuously fall short of that target. For the past two seasons, KXIP have been unable to qualify for the playoffs despite strong starts to the tournament. Now with Kumble’s appointment, KXIP will hope to finally get their hands on the coveted trophy.
“Kumble is our choice to coach Kings XI. The world knows about his cricketing and coaching abilities. He’s a very calm, cool and collected person. He comes with a lot of experience in the IPL, having worked with two other franchises in the past, and also with the Indian team. We’re pretty sure that under his leadership, Kings XI will do very well,” Kings XI co-owner Ness Wadia told Times of India.
There are other changes also expected to take place at Kings XI Punjab. Cricket legends Courtney Walsh and Jonty Rhodes could be announced as the bowling and fielding coaches of the team respectively. According to the report, former Australia limited-overs skipper George Bailey has been confirmed as the batting coach. Meanwhile, former India spinner Sunil Joshi will take charge as assistant coach of the team.
Punjab played in the IPL final in 2014 where they lost a close match to Kolkata Knight Riders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Wadia also maintained that captain R Ashwin is an integral part of the team amid speculations of a trade with Delhi Capitals.