Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) coach Virender Sehwag named spinner Ravichandran Ashwin the captain of the Punjab-based franchise ahead of the 11th edition of the cash-rich league, starting April 7.
Punjab will start their campaign, playing Delhi Daredevils on their home ground, Firoz Shah Kotla, on April 8.
Former India opener Sehwag announced the decision through a Facebook live on Monday.
“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," Ashwin said as quoted by the team's official website.
“There is no additional pressure on me as such. I first led my state side in first class cricket when I was 21. I have done it in the past and I am sure that I will enjoy the challenge," the spinner added.
Ashwin has two IPL titles during his eight-year stint with Chennai Super Kings and has also played for Pune Supergiants. He played his last T20 for India seven months back in July 2017 against the West Indies and last ODI against the same opponents last June.
The 31-year-old off-spinner has become the tenth cricketer to lead KXIP in the IPL. Earlier, Glenn Maxwell (2017), Murali Vijay (2016), David Miller (2016), George Bailey (2014, 2015), David Hussey (2012, 2013), Adam Gilchrist (2011, 2012), Mahela Jayawardene (2010), Kumar Sangakkara (2009) and Yuvraj Singh (2008) have led the Preity Zinta-owned franchise.
KXIP bought Ashwin in the IPL auction for whopping Rs 7.6 crore after an intense bidding at the Ritz-Carlton, Bengaluru in January,
India opener KL Rahul was another expensive pick of KXIP for which they had to play Rs 11 crore. However, star T20 players such as Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh were bought for Rs 2 crore each.
Earlier, KXIP had released a list of players who were there in the race to become the captain of the team.