KL Rahul has been appointed captain of Kings XI Punjab for the 2020 VIVO Indian Premier League with immediate effect, the franchise can confirm.

Having joined the team in 2018, KL Rahul has completed two seasons with the team and has been retained for his third straight campaign, this time as a leader. He will now work with Director of Cricket Operations and Head Coach Anil Kumble to further the interests of the team.

“KL Rahul has emerged as one of the leaders of the team over his two seasons with Kings XI Punjab,” pointed out KXIP CEO Satish Menon. “His batting has been exemplary, and he has anchored many of our memorable wins. The numbers say it alone; KL has been our highest run-scorer for the last two seasons by a comfortable margin. 

“He's versatile as well - he has been willing to make sacrifices for the team, wicketkeeping and opening, providing us more flexibility in our approach. He is very simply the natural choice to lead Kings XI Punjab,” he affirmed.

KL Rahul takes over the role of the skipper from Ravichandran Ashwin, who led the team in 2018 and 2019 and then traded last month.

The 27-year-old KL Rahul came into his own ever since he joined KXIP, scoring 1,252 runs in 28 matches with one century and 12 fifties at an astonishing average of 54.43 and a strike rate of 146.60.

A little over 63 per cent of his IPL runs have come in the last two seasons with his earlier 29 matches producing only 725 runs. 

His form has also translated on the big stage as he has been picked by India to represent the nation in limited-overs cricket.

“I would like to thank Kings XI Punjab for having their faith in me and giving me the responsibility to lead the team,” KL Rahul said. “I am looking forward to this role. We have had a good auction as well, so I can't wait for the IPL to begin!”