Spin legend Anil Kumble is reportedly in talks with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for the position of head coach. The role has been lying vacant since Mike Hesson of New Zealand stepped down to avoid conflict of issue as he filed his nomination to for the role of next India head coach. However, after Ravi Shastri beat him to the post, he was named as the Director of Cricket Operations of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Kumble’s previous stint as a coach was with the Indian national cricket team, a post from which he unceremoniously resigned in 2017 after falling out with captain Virat Kohli.
According to Mumbai Mirror, the former India captain could meet with KXIP owners Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta in the coming days. Following the development, the transfer of current KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin to Delhi Capitals has been put on hold.
Since resigning as India coach, Kumble has been working as expert with leading broadcasters apart from heading the Technical committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
However, he could face stiff competition from the likes of Zimbabwean Andy Flower and Australian Darren Lehmann who are also reportedly in the fray.
George Bailey, who was one of the candidates for the position, has been offered the role of batting coach, an offer he has accepted, claims the publication.
Despite boasting of proven performers, KXIP’s best performance has been that of a runners-up in 2014 and apart from that, their best season was in 2008, during the maiden IPL, when they reached the semi-finals.
In 2019, they finished 6th out of eight teams.