Kumble Head Coach of KXIP

Anil Kumble

More than two years after he stepped down as the Head Coach of India, former skipper Anil Kumble has taken up the coaching job again, this time as with the Indian Premier League team Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season.

Besides Kumble, KXIP have made a number high-profile appointments to their support staff with West Indies great Courtney Walsh and former Australian captain George Bailey coming on board the Mohali-based franchise. Walsh will be talent scout for the team while Bailey, under whose captaincy KXIP reached the final in 2014, will be the batting coach.

Former India spinner Sunil Joshi, Kumble’s longtime national and Karnataka team-mate, is likely to take over as the assistant coach while South African great Jonty Rhodes is tipped to take over as the team’s fielding coach.

Kumble, it is learnt, has been put in charge of “all cricket-related affairs” of the team and will be making a presentation to the team management regarding his plans on October 19. The leg-spinning great will also take a call on R Ashwin’s future with the team on the same day. Ashwin, who captained the side in the past two seasons, is likely to be traded to Delhi Capitals ahead of the next season.

“Kumble will decide who all players will stay and who all will be released. Walsh will be scouting talent for the team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy before the IPL and will also work with our pacers,” a KXIP source said.

Kumble, whose brief stint with the Indian men’s team between 2016 and 2017 ended in controversial circumstances, is the only Indian coach in the IPL at the moment. Before this assignment, Kumble, who captained Royal Challengers Bangalore to IPL and the now-defunct Champions League finals, also mentored the team after retiring from competitive cricket. He later took up the mentor’s job with the Mumbai Indians who won both IPL and Champions League in 2013.

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