Updated: December 20, 2019 11:07:03 am
KL Rahul has been named as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab franchise for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday.
“We are happy to appoint Rahul as our captain for the upcoming season. He has been through a lot in the last year or so and has now come back strongly,” Ness Wadia, the co-owner of Kings XI Punjab told PTI on the day of the IPL auction in Kolkata.
“He has silenced his critics. You will get to see his ability not just as a batsman but also as a captain. He was our unanimous choice,” he added.
The Punjab-based franchise had bought the Indian opener for a whopping Rs. 11 crore ahead of the 2018 season.
Rahul’s ascendancy to captaincy was expected after Ravichandran Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals last month. The 27-year-old has been in fine form of late in white-ball cricket as he hit a fine 102 against West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
“I feel he is one of the best players in the world. He showed yesterday what he is capable of. Even India captain Virat Kohli rates him very highly. He is also a very humble human being, has all qualities of a good leader,” said Wadia.
At the IPL auction, KXIP spent big money for Glenn Maxwell (Rs 10.5 crore) and Sheldon Cottrell (Rs 8.5 crore).
Asked if they shelled out a bit too much for Maxwell, who recently took a break to deal with his mental health, Wadia said: “Not at all. Anil (Kumble, head coach) was very clear in his thinking and what he wanted. Maxwell has been with us in the past so he know the set up.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he will be back to his best very soon. Also very happy to have Cottrell on board,” added Wadia.
(with PTI inputs)