Brad Hodge, the Australian cricketer, has been appointed as the Head Coach of Kings XI Punjab for a period three years. , a report in Pune Mirror suggests. The report also adds that though he is the Head Coach, he will report to Virender Sehwag.
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Sehwag, who joined the franchise in 2014, was appointed elevated to the post of Cricket operations and strategy in the last season. He was already the mentor of the side.
Hodge has previously worked as the coach of Gujarat Lions, a role which he assumed right from IPL 2016. Interestingly, his name was there on the list of players to be auctioned in IPL 2016, but he decided to coach the side, thus withdrawing from the league as a player.
Under his tutelage, Gujarat qualified for the second stage of IPL 2016 before the Suresh Raina led side lost both the qualifiers. In IPL 2017 though, the team couldn’t do well and was ruled out from the first stage after losing 10 out of 14 games in the league stage.
Hodge will be assisted by Mithun Manhas and J Arun Kumar. Manhas, who is yet to announce his retirement, was recently appointed as the batting consultant of Bangladesh U19 for the U19 World Cup to be played next year in New Zealand. J Arun Kumar, who joined the franchise last year, is the current coach of Hyderabad Ranji team after leaving Karnataka.
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Kings XI Punjab did not have a good IPL 2017 as the team failed to qualify for the next round. After the end of the tournament, Virender Sehwag blamed lack of contribution from foreign players for the failure in the tournament. Hence, it can be assumed that the franchise might not retain any foreign player, which also includes skipper Genn Maxwell and David Miller as they have an option of using Right to Match (RTM) card on the auction day. Axar Patel is another player who will be in the eyes of the franchise on which they might look to use the RTM card.
The auction for the next year’s league will take place either in January or February and the franchise will have to soon decide on the players they are looking to retain. As said, chances of this franchise keeping any player look bleak. However, Punjab can always deliver a surprise as they did in 2014 when they retained Manan Vohra along with David Miller.
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