New Delhi: Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would lead his new IPL team, the Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming edition of the tournament, as announced by the franchise on Monday.
Having been roped in by the 2014 finalists for a sum of Rs 7.6 crore in the IPL auctions last month, the Tamil Nadu spinner was a frontrunner to lead the side, despite having no experience of captaining in the IPL so far.
He further added, “I feel honoured to be trusted with the responsibility of leading such a talented bunch of cricketers…I am confident of bringing out the best out of team mates. This is indeed a proud moment for me.”
A veteran of 111 IPL games, Ashwin was one of the key members of MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings where he enjoyed a considerable amount of success. After the franchise was handed a two-year ban, the off-spinner turned up for the Rising Pune Supergiant in one edition before missing out last year with an injury.
He had made his debut for the Chennai franchise way back in 2009 and played a crucial role in them winning the competition, back-to-back in 2010 and 2011, besides helping them make the final three times. In 111 IPL games so far, he has 100 dismissals to his name, with an economy rate of 6.55.
Always thought a bowler should be captain: Virender Sehwag
Yuvraj Singh was also one of the firm favourites for being named skipper of the Punjab franchise but team mentor Virender Sehwag explained the rationale behind handing Ashwin the charge, saying that he always preferred a bowler as the captain.
“I always thought a bowler should be captain. I was a huge fan of Wasim Akram, Kapil Dev, Waqar Younis, they were all great bowlers and went on to lead their teams successfully. I hope Ashwin will do the same and help us reach the qualifying stages and the final,” he said.