The plan was to keep the core team, said Kings XI Punjab head coach Anil Kumble after the franchise released a 16-member list of retained players ahead of next IPL edition. The Punjab outfit parted ways with Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who had a dismal outing in the previous IPL season.
Maxwell managed to score just 108 runs in 13 games, ending his abysmal run in the UAE without a six. Along with Maxwell, West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell has also been shown the exit door by the franchise.
"After yesterday's historic Test victory in Australia, we are all excited about the result, having said that it is also that time of the year where IPL preparations kick-start for the new season 2021 IPL.
So today, we have retained 16 players out of the 25-member squad that we had last season. So, the plan is to fill those gaps in the coming auction so that we will be a solid team going into the 2021 IPL," Kumble said in a video posted by the KXIP's official Twitter handle.
"The plan was to keep the core team and make sure that players who are part of the last season continue into this season as well. We believe that this group along with whoever we will pick in the auction will be able to turn things around for the side. It is important for us to look to keep the squad similar and hope for better performance in the coming season," he added.
Talking about retained players, the franchise has stuck with skipper KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Shami. West Indies veteran Chris Gayle, all-rounder Deepak Hooda and Nicholas Pooran have also been retained by the Punjab outfit.
On the bowling front, KXIP have retained Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan and Murugan Ashwin.
In the IPL 2020 season, Punjab had finished at the sixth spot with six wins and eight losses. Rahul and Co will be vying for maiden IPL title in the upcoming IPL edition. KXIP had progressed into the finals of the tournament back in 2014 but were handed a three-wicket defeat by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Retained players : KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel