Kings XI Punjab have ‘amicably parted ways’ with spinner R Ashwin, who captained the side for the last two seasons, ahead of next year’s Indian Premier League.
“Ashwin and we have decided amicably that we will part ways. There are a few options and we are talking to all of them,” franchise co-owner Ness Wadia told Press Trust of India.
Over the last two months, there were reports about a possible switch from Punjab to Delhi Capitals for Ashwin, but the deal never went through. Following the appointment of Anil Kumble as the team’s head coach, it was understood that the franchise had then decided to retain Ashwin, with Wadia calling him an “integral part” of the team. However, the latest announcement has put an end to his two-season journey with the franchise.
While insisting there was ‘no animosity’ in the move, Wadia said that the two parties are looking at the best possible solution, hinting that the spinner has offers from multiple teams.
“Nothing has been finalised yet. We are talking to a lot of franchises and let’s see how things go”.
The seventh-highest wicket-taker in tournament history [125 wickets in 139 games], Ashwin started his IPL career with Chennai Super Kings in 2009, where he spent seven years forging a strong reputation under MS Dhoni, before switching to Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. After missing IPL 2017 to injury, he was named captain of Kings XI in 2018, a side that has reached the final only once in 12 attempts.
Known for his out-of-the-box thinking as captain, Ashwin led the side to seventh and sixth place in 2018 and 2019. This year, he was in the eye of a storm after mankading Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler, a move he vehemently defended despite mixed reactions in cricketing circles.
With Ashwin moving away, there are reports that KL Rahul, the franchise’s leading run-scorer for two consecutive seasons [2017 and 2018], could be named the next captain.