Photo: BCCI

Former India captain, Anil Kumble, has been appointed as the Director of Cricket Operations and Head Coach of Kings XI Punjab to take the team forward ahead of the 2020 VIVO Indian Premier League.

Kumble played the IPL for three seasons until 2010, captaining the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and then took over as mentor in 2011, and later served in the same role for the Mumbai Indians. His last coaching stint was a year with the Indian cricket team, up until 2017.

“It is a great challenge for me and an opportunity to get involved in the IPL again,” Kumble told “I look forward to working with the owners and the players, and hope to make a significant contribution with the team.”

The team management expressed their confidence in the choice the franchise had made.

“The world knows about his cricketing and coaching abilities. He's a very calm, cool and collected person,” Ness Wadia, co-owner of KXIP, had told the Times of India. “He comes with a lot of experience in the IPL, having worked with two other franchises in the past, and also with the Indian team. We're pretty sure that under his leadership, Kings XI will do very well.”

Kumble joins the team following the departure of Head Coach Mike Hesson, whose journey with Kings XI Punjab ended in August earlier this year, with the latest announcement likely to shake up things within the squad.

"Kumble will decide who all players will stay and who all will be released,” KXIP co-owner Mohit Burman told the New Indian Express.

Fondly known as ‘Jumbo’, Kumble made his international debut in 1990 and had a career spanning 18 years. He is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in Tests, with 619 scalps and his ODI record is equally impressive with 334 wickets.

The crowning glory of his career came in the second Test of the 1999 series against Pakistan. Kumble quite literally ran through the line-up, as he picked up each wicket to fall in the second innings, ending up with figures of 10/74.