Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to join Delhi Capitals for the next edition of IPL after Kings XI Punjab decided to release their skipper of last two seasons. KXIP releasing Ashwin was on expected lines after the franchise finished seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019 under his leadership. Former India captain and Delhi Capitals mentor Sourav Ganguly said that their franchise will be happy to have senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in their ranks for the upcoming Indian Premier League. Ashwin has played 28 IPL games for KXIP, taking 25 wickets and scoring 146 runs which at best could be termed modest.
"Ashwin's release approval is already with the BCCI and an announcement is likely soon. Delhi Capitals showed interested in him and KXIP, after thinking it through, felt they needed a younger spinner in the squad," a source close to the development told PTI.
After finishing runners-up in 2014, KXIP has not made the IPL play-offs. The franchise has under-performed since IPL's inaugural season in 2008 and along with Delhi are the two franchises, who have not won the title. Last week, Delhi Capitals advisor Sourav Ganguly had said the team would be happy to have the services of 32-year-old Ashwin, who is no more certainty in the Indian Test playing XI, having all but permanently lost his slot in the white-ball format. The franchise will only think about the new captain once the head coach is appointed. Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who was in charge of KXIP in 2019, has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as director of Cricket Operations after not being picked for the India head coach job.
Ravichandran Ashwin was roped in by Kings XI Punjab and appointed as captain in the 2018 edition of the IPL. He was retained by the franchise in the 2019 edition as well. In 2018, Punjab were off to a dream start. In fact, they had topped the points table in the first half. However, the results turned out to be contrasting in the second half and some crucial losses meant that they were knocked out without reaching the playoffs. In the next season, the Ravichandran Ashwin-led outfit started their campaign with a win, then they did manage a few wins but had once again lost many crunch games. Towards the end, those losses once again hampered their progress in the tournament. Nonetheless, Ravichandran Ashwin was in the news for 'Mankading' Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler during their campaign opener. Later, Ravichandran Ashwin was also fined a huge amount of money for his team's slow over-rate in one of the matches. On the international level, Ravichandran Ashwin only plays in Tests as he has been overlooked in the limited-overs due to the emergence of wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sourav Ganguly finally made his presence in an IPL team after so many years. Dada was the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders since IPL's inception in 2008 to 2010. In 2011, Sourav Ganguly was roped in by the now-defunct Pune Warriors India. Sourav Ganguly was named as a replacement for an injured Ashish Nehra. Ganguly was then appointed as captain of the franchise in the following edition which turned out to be his last one. Sourav Ganguly then went on to announce his retirement from all forms of cricket later that year. In the 2019 edition, the new Delhi franchise Delhi Capitals was established. Delhi Daredevils had changed their name to Delhi Capitals in the previous edition. Delhi Capitals then went on to bring to of the successful captains in world cricket- Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly. Ponting was appointed as the team's head coach while Sourav Ganguly was the team advisor. The franchise had a successful outing in their first season as they finished third. Sourav Ganguly is also a successful commentator and is the current president of Bengal Cricket Association (CAB).