Ness Wadia, Kings XI Punjab co-owner, on Monday the team decided to rethink their decision to trade R Ashwin to Delhi Capitals.
It is learnt that the newly-appointed head coach Anil Kumble was keen to retain the Indian off-spinner, who was leading the team in the last two editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Under Ashwin’s captaincy, KXIP kicked off their last two seasons on a brighter note before losing the momentum in the second half of the seasons. The team, despite their strong starts, finished seventh and sixth in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
“The (KXIP) Board had a rethink and it realised that Ashwin is an integral part of the team. There were discussions with Delhi Capitals but those discussions never came to fruition. The way he plays his cricket and his performances speak for him,” Wadia told PTI.
Ashwin is currently in top form and having scalped 14 wickets in the first two Test, is topping the list of the wickettakers in the India-South Africa Test series.
Wadia also said that the team is looking to end its drought of IPL titles after bringing Kumble on board.
“Anil is really a breath of fresh air. He is so cool, calm and collected. We are fortunate to have a relationship with him. Likewise he sees it as an opportunity to take KXIP into something which it has the potential to be,” said Wadia.
“Last two seasons, we were the best team in the first half but somehow lost focus and momentum in the second. I really don’t know what happened,” continued Wadia.
“He will bring a lot of calmness to the team and discipline most definitely. He will inspire players to really optimise their own talent without trying too hard. His rich coaching experience will help us tremendously. We have a three year contract and we hope to work together beyond that,” added Wadia.
The KXIP co-owner also made it clear that the team is looking for some stability.
“I have lost count of the coaches we have had. We are looking for stability and stability is good as long as there is performance,” concluded Wadia.