Putting an end to all the speculations surrounding the future of Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab have decided against trading the spinner. Recent media reports suggested that Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals were in discussion to strike a deal for the star off-spinner.

Kings XI Punjab had secured Ravichandran Ashwin’s services before the 2018 season and made him their captain. However, their fortunes did not change under the spinner’s leadership. While Kings XI Punjab did show some sparks of brilliance, they lacked consistency and failed to progress ahead of the league stage in the last two seasons under Ravichandran Ashwin.

During these two seasons,  Ravichandran Ashwin played 28 matches for Kings XI Punjab and had picked up 25 wickets. Prior to his stint with Kings XI Punjab, he had played for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant. Ashwin is now looking set to increase his tally of games and wickets with the Punjab-based outfit after the team’s co-owner Ness Wadia said the franchise decided not to trade the player.

“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.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Credits: IPL)

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Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, are still waiting for their first-ever IPL title. Their best performance came in 2014 when they made it to the final. Since that season, they have not made it to the playoffs. They will be hoping that their fortunes change after they recently roped in Anil Kumble as their coach. The former India captain has been handed a three-year contract.

“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.

“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,” said Wadia.