IPL team Kings XI Punjab appoint Anil Kumble as head coach
Kumble's coaching career had started as the mentor of RCB. (Photo: IANS)
Former India coach Anil Kumble has been given the coaching reins of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) after he was appointed as the Director of Cricket Operation for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise in Mumbai, on Thursday. His contract was finalized following the shock exit of Mike Hesson from his two-year deal with the Mohali-based team.
“Kumble is our choice to coach Kings XI. The world knows about his cricketing and coaching abilities. He’s a very calm, cool and collected person. He comes with a lot of experience in the IPL, having worked with two other franchises in the past, and also with the Indian team. We’re pretty sure that under his leadership, Kings XI will do very well,” Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Right after hanging his boots as a player, Kumble saw his coaching career off to a start as the mentor of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. After his tenure with the franchise-based cricket, India’s highest wicket-taker was given a promotion and made the head coach for the senior men’s cricket team of the country.
Though his methods fetched results and many lauded his efforts, a rumoured rift with captain Virat Kohli meant his tenure as the national coach ended in a rather belligerent manner.
With Kumble on board, the Punjab team management are all set to get a fresh-looking coaching staff from the next season. Former Australia captain George Bailey has been appointed as the batting coach who had also led KXIP to their best ever IPL result in 2014 when they lost the final to Kolkata Knight Riders.
While former spinner Anil Joshi has been hired as the assistant to Kumble, Jonty Rhodes is rumoured to be the fielding coach. Also, according to the TOI report West Indies legend Courtney Walsh is being tipped to join KXIP as the bowling coach cum talent scout.
Given the vast experience of these names as cricketers and in the coaching duty, the new coaching staff could well be the impetus that the Pretty Zinta co-owned side was left looking for in the last few seasons. The team had finished seventh and sixth in 2018 and 2019 respectively.