IPL: Anil Kumble appointed head coach of Kings XI Punjab
Anil Kumble has returned to the coaching fold, two years after his unceremonious exit from the role of head coach of Team India. India's highest wicket-taker in Tests has taken over as the director of cricket operations of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab. His contract was finalized on Thursday.
Punjab are one of three sides to have not yet won an IPL trophy, with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals being the other two. With Kumble's appointment, Kings XI will be desperately hoping for a revival in fortunes.
“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 TOI on Thursday.
According to reports, former Australia and Kings XI captain George Bailey has been appointed as the batting coach of the franchise, with Sunil Joshi appointed as the assistant coach.
South Africa's Jonty Rhodes has been finalized as the fielding coach, while Courtney Walsh from West Indies is being tipped to be the new bowling coach. The support staff has been picked in consultation with Kumble.
There has also been speculation that the IPL team might part with skipper Ravichandran Ashwin after he failed to inspire his side to the play-offs in the last two seasons, trading him to the Delhi Capitals. However, Wadia rubbished such rumours, stating that the offie remains an integral part of the side.
New Zealand's Mike Hesson, who coached the team in IPL 2019, parted ways with the side after applying for the role of head coach of the Indian cricket team.
Kumble's first assignment with Kings XI will be the upcoming auctions that will be held in Kolkata in December.
Also see – ICC Test Championship points table