By: Radhakrishna NS
FORMER India skipper Anil Kumble has been appointed as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to ESPNcricinfo, Kumble has been put in charge of “all cricket-related affairs” of the team and will be making a presentation to the team management regarding his plans on October 19.
KXIP co-owner Mohit Burman said Kumble will also take a call on Ravichandran Ashwin’s future with the team on the same day. Ashwin, who captained the side in the past two seasons, is expected to be traded to Delhi Capitals ahead of the next season.
Kumble, who had a brief stint with the Indian men’s team as head coach between 2016 and 2017, is currently the only Indian coach in the IPL.
For the 48-year-old, Kings XI will be the third IPL team that he will be involved with, having featured as a player and later captain with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008.
He had also joined Mumbai Indians in 2013 as a mentor before quitting in 2015. He then joined the Indian team as the chief coach but it ended acrimoniously in 2017 after his relationship with skipper Virat Kohli became “untenable”.
Kumble is the fifth coach to join the Punjab franchise in the last five editions.
Earlier, Sanjay Bangar (2014-2016), Virender Sehwag (2017), Brad Hodge (2018) and Mike Hesson (2019) had served as head coach of the team, which finishing at the bottom in 2015 and 2016, before signing off at fifth, seventh and sixth in the last three seasons.
Kings XI had reached the semifinals in 2008 and finished second-best after losing in the final to Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2014 edition.