June 5, 2023

Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to turn out for a new franchise in the next season of IPL after Kings XI Punjab decided to release the all-rounder. Delhi Capitals has apparently pipped Sunrisers Hyderabad in roping Ashwin in for IPL 2020. Although the move is set to be termed a ‘trade’ but it is believed that the Delhi Capitals will buy out Ashwin in an all-cash deal. Ashwin was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for 7.6 crores ahead of IPL 2018 but the off-spinner who had been leading the side for the two seasons, failed to deliver the goods. KXIP releasing Ashwin was on expected lines after the franchise finished seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019 under his leadership.

“Ashwin’s release approval is already with the BCCI and an announcement is likely soon. Delhi Capitals showed interested in him and KXIP, after thinking it through, felt they needed a younger spinner in the squad,” a source close to the development told PTI.

After finishing runners-up in 2014, KXIP have not made the IPL play-offs. The franchise has under-performed since IPL’s inaugural season in 2008 and along with Delhi are the two franchises, who have not won the title.

Sunrisers Hyderabad had also shown interest in Ashwin but the Capitals made the first move after being in talks with KXIP for the past few weeks. Delhi Capitals will be Ashwin’s fourth franchise in IPL after Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiant and KXIP.

There has been no official announcement from either of the franchises but last week, Delhi Capitals advisor Sourav Ganguly had said the team would be happy to have the services of 32-year-old Ashwin, who is no more a certainty in the Indian Test playing XI, having all but permanently lost his slot in the white ball format.

The franchise will only think about the new captain once the head coach is appointed. Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who was in charge of KXIP in 2019, has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as director of Cricket Operations after not being picked for the India head coach job.

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