- Saiman Das
Kings XI Punjab are one of the three franchises that are yet to stamp their authority in the Indian Premier League. Ever since the inception of the cash-rich league, they managed to reach the IPL final only once. They made their way into the final in the IPL 2014 season.
However, Kolkata Knight Riders ended their dreams by clinching their second title. Since IPL 2014, Kings XI Punjab delved into series of disappointments because nothing worked for them. Eventhough they splashed the cash to rope in the players, their performances were far from pleasing.
They had a terrible campaign in the 2020 IPL edition where they finished 6th in the points table. KL Rahul’s team tasted bitter defeats in the first half of the season. However, ever since Chris Gayle’s entry in the second half of the season, they looked like a different team.
In the end, they managed to secure 6 wins and lost 8 games. However, they made smart purchases in the IPL 2021 auction. They did their best to bolster the squad this time around. With all bases covered, they will be looking forward to making a serious bid for the title.
Ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, Kings XI Punjab took everyone by surprise by changing its name to Punjab Kings. Meanwhile, Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia explained why Kings XI Punjab changed its name ahead of the new season.
He added that the team management wanted to relook at things. Speaking on the same lines, he said they needed to rebrand and reinvent themselves after 13 editions. “As they say, if something doesn’t work, change it and try and get it working,” Punjab Kings co-owner added.
Wadia also vents out his frustration for failing to lift a trophy since the inaugural edition of the IPL. He further revealed that they had been thinking of changing the name for the last couple of years. But the pandemic struck the world, sending every activity on a hiatus.
“Kings XI Punjab had a reference to the playing XI. Punjab Kings is more inclusive and will resonate better with the fans,” he further explained. “We thought if we could do it at the big auction next year or the smaller auction this season, so finally decided to do it this year,” Wadia spoke about the name change.
The Punjab Kings drew plaudits from every nook and corner of the cricket fraternity for purchasing great players in the IPL 2021 auction. They started the auction with a wallet of Rs 53.20 crore and went on to bolster the squad.
Australia’s fast bowler Jhye Richardson hogged the limelight at the Punjab Kings table. The young quick was purchased for INR 14 crores. Punjab Kings made yet another smart purchase by roping in another pacer.
They purchased Australia’s Riley Meredith for INR 8 crores. After that, they went on to rope in another Australian. They acquired the services of Moises Henriques for Rs 4.2 crore. Punjab Kings also signed uncapped player Shahrukh Khan for INR 5.25 crore.
On the other hand, they also made budget purchases as well. They signed No.1 ranked T20 batsman Dawid Malan for Rs 1.50 crore. After that, they purchased Jalaj Saxena for INR 30 lakh, Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 lakh), and all-rounder Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 lakh).
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