Former India leg-spinner and head coach Anil Kumble has been appointed as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
An ESPNcricinfo report states that Kumble will also be in charge of “all cricket-related affairs”, as confirmed by co-owner Mohit Burman. The report further says that Kumble is expected to make a presentation on October 19 to the team management on the way forward for the team.
On the same day, a call is expected to be made on R Ashwin’s future. Delhi Capitals have expressed interest in the off-spinner and have been in talks with Punjab for a trade.
Kumble’s appointment makes this the fifth change in management in as many years. Following Sanjay Bangar’s exit in 2016, Virender Sehwag took over as head of cricket operations in 2017. He relinquished the post at the end of that season, after which Brad Hodge took over as head coach in 2018, while Mike Hesson fulfilled that role this year.
Kumble has served as a mentor for Royal Challengers Bangalore, whom he also led to the IPL final in 2009, as captain. He served Mumbai Indians in a similar capacity in 2013.
Kings XI haven’t made the knockouts since finishing as runners-up in 2014, when they lost to Gautam Gambhir’s Kolkata Knight Riders. They followed up that season with back-to-back bottom-of-the-table finishes, before making marginal, but unsubstantial, improvements over the next three years, finishing fifth, seven and sixth respectively.