IPL 2020: Anil Kumble set for Kings XI Punjab role, to become only Indian head coach
- Anil Kumble replaces Mike Hesson as Kings XI Punjab coach
- Kumble will be the only Indian head coach in IPL 2020
- Kumble will reportedly take a call on R Ashwin's future at KXIP
Former finalists Kings XI Punjab have roped in legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the head coach of the franchise for Indian Prmeier League (IPL) 2020.
Anil Kumble, India's leading wicket-taker in Tests, was appointed as coach after the franchise's board meeting on Thursday. Kumble will thus become the only Indian head coach in IPL 2020. Kumble's 1st assignment as head coach of KXIP will be at IPL auction, scheduled for December 19 in Kolkata.
Anil Kumble had previously been the chief mentor of Mumbai Indians. He was appointed in the role in 2013 and the MI went on to win their maiden IPL title in that year. Kumble had left a similar role at Royal Challengers Bangalore to join the 4-time champions in that year.
Notably, this will be Kumble's return to coaching stint after he quit as India head coach in 2017. Notably, Kumble had a much-publicised rift with captain Virat Kohli. Kumble and Kohli reportedly were not even in talking terms during Champions Trophy 2017 and the legendary leg-spinner did not go with the Indian team to the West Indies tour that followed the 50-over tournament in the UK. Ravi Shastri succeeded Anil Kumble as the head coach of India cricket in 2017.
Kumble's appointment comes at a time Kings XI are struggling to make an impact in IPL despite the presecne of big names in the side.
Kumble to take call on R Ashwin's future
Kumble, according to The Times of India, will also take a call on R Ashwin's future at Kings XI Punjab. It was reported earlier that KXIP and Delhi Capitals were in talks over trading Ashwin to the Delhi-based franchise.
KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia though has said R Ashwin is still an integral part of Kings XI Punjab. Ashwin was appointed as captain of the Punjab-based franchise in 2018. Under Ashwin, KXIP finished 7th and 6th in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
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," Ness Wadia was quoted as saying by the newspaper.