IPL 2019: Kings XI Punjab retains nine players, releases 12

Along with Ashwin and Gayle, the Mohali-based franchise has retained K.L. Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb-ur Rahman, Ankeet Rajpoot and David Miller.

KXIP released a group of 12 players, including stars like Yuvraj Singh (above) and Aaron Finch.   -  M. Vedhan

After bringing about a change in its coaching staff, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has decided to retain nine of its key players — which includes captain Ravichandran Ashwin and Chris Gayle — for next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Along with Ashwin and Gayle, the Mohali-based franchise has retained K.L. Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb-ur Rahman, Ankeet Rajpoot and David Miller. However, it released a group of 12 players, including stars like Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch.

Kings XI CEO, Satish Menon, told Sportstar that the decision was taken to focus on youth. “We are building a younger team. Apart from Gayle, Miller and Ashwin, the others are in their twenties. So, that’s the reason we went with youngsters,” Menon said.

READ: Mumbai Indians retains 18 players ahead of IPL 2019

Contrary to speculations that Ashwin might be at the receiving end, Kings XI actually is planning, keeping him as the leader. Under the new coach, Mike Hesson, the team hopes to play a different brand of cricket. “I am still getting to know people here,” Hesson had said about his new role.

Last season, despite a strong start, the team lost its steam in the second half and failed to make it to the playoffs. Its mentor, Virender Sehwag, resigned last month, making it evident that the franchise was in for a change.

RETAINED: R. Ashwin, K.L. Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ankeet Rajpoot, Chris Gayle and David Miller.

RELEASED: Aaron Finch, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Barinder Sran, Ben Dwarshuis, Manoj Tiwary, Akshdeep Nath, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar and Manzoor Dar.