Kings XI Punjab are the latest Indian Premier League franchise to go for a name change as they search for better fortunes in the 8-team league. The former finalists, searching for an elusive IPL title, are set to be called Punjab Kings in IPL 2021.
Kings XI Punjab will become the latest team after the likes of Delhi Capitals (Delhi Daredevils) and now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (Rising Pune Supergiants) to opt for a change in the team name.
According to the Press Trust of India, the decision to change the name to Punjab Kings has come after much deliberation. However, it’s not a sudden decision as the Punjab-based franchise have been looking to change the team name for quite some time now.
IPL 2021 is likely to kick off from April and a mini-auction in the lead up to the 14th season will be held in Chennai on February 18.
Kings XI Punjab, who are being led by KL Rahul, came up with a stunning comeback after being at the bottom of the points table midway during IPL 2020 season in the UAE. However, despite the late charge, Rahul’s men ended up to reach the play-offs and finished 6th. The franchise, jointly owned by Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul, have failed to win an IPL title since the event’s inaugural edition in 2008.
Kings XI Punjab’s best performances over the last 12 seasons of the IPL when they finished as runners-up in 2015. Only twice have they made it to the knockout stages of the premier T20 tournament.
Ahead of the IPL 2021 Auction, Kings XI Punjab released as many as 9 players, including the likes of Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The Punjab-based side will have the biggest purse at the IPL 2021 auction — Rs 53.20 crore.
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.
Released players: Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh.