IPL: Ashwin, Kings XI Punjab part ways

Kings XI’s co-owner Ness Wadia said that both parties have agreed to separate, but insisted there is no confirmation on Ashwin’s possible move to Delhi Capitals.

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Kings XI Punjab and Ravichandran Ashwin have parted ways.   -  K Murali Kumar

Kings XI Punjab and Ravichandran Ashwin have ‘amicably agreed’ to part ways ahead of next year’s Indian Premier League.

On Wednesday, Kings XI’s co-owner Ness Wadia said that both parties have agreed to separate, but insisted there is no confirmation on Ashwin's possible move to Delhi Capitals.

“Ashwin and we have decided amicably that we will part ways. There are a few options and we are talking to all of them,” Wadia said.

Last month, the Kings XI co-owner had told this publication that Ashwin was an integral part of the franchise and there was ‘no question’ of letting him go. There were also speculations that with Anil Kumble taking over as the chief coach, Ashwin could stay back, but Wadia now confirmed that negotiations over Ashwin trade-off have resumed.

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But what led to a change in the decision?

“That’s an internal discussion,” Wadia said. “There was a collective decision and we amicably concluded that it will be best to part ways. That’s the most important thing. There is no animosity. At the end of the day, we decided as a franchise, and he decided as a player. We put our minds together and we decided what’s best for everyone,” the Kings XI co-owner said.

“Nothing has been finalised yet. We are talking to a lot of franchises and let’s see how things go,” he added.

With Ashwin parting ways, there is a strong buzz that KL Rahul could be elevated as the captain. But Wadia made it clear that nothing has been finalised yet. “Nothing has been decided on the captain. It is all work in progress,” he said.

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Team sport

The co-owner of the franchise also clarified that the Punjab franchise is looking at every possible option ahead of the player trading window — which closes on November 14.

For the last two seasons, Ashwin has been an integral part of Kings XI and also led the side last year. So, what impact will his exit have on the team?

“It’s a team sport and not an individual sport. There are 11 players and we believe that each individual contributes, including the coach and everyone,” Wadia said.

“Even in an individual sport, the team behind the individual is always critical. Before coming to ATP Paris, Djokovic was sick and he went on to win. He got better by looking after himself and there was support staff to help him. Not enough credit is given to the team behind the scene which supports the individuals and team players,” Wadia said.

KXIP reached the semifinals in the inaugural IPL edition in 2008 before making the playoffs in 2014 where it finished runner-up.