India’s champion off-spinner, Ravi Ashwin will be lining up for Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming IPL season, as the veteran bowler will no longer be part of the Chennai Super Kings setup.
In what was one of the shocks of the IPL auction, CSK did not go in for their former hero, as they preferred to buy Mumbai Indians’ stalwart, Hardbhajan Singh instead.
It was a very surprising decision, given that Ashwin was one of the pillars of the CSK sides during their glory days.
Ashwin, along with Raina, Bravo and of course Dhoni, formed the core of the CSK side that won two IPL titles as well as two Champions Leagues during their first eight years.
Ahead of the auction, MS Dhoni had stressed how important Ashwin was to CSK’s plans and that they wanted to bring him back at all costs.
“We have two right-to-match options but having already retained three capped Indians, don’t think we can use it. We will have to buy him out in the auction. As of now, it is tough to say, we will get him or him or him,” he added.
“Ashwin will come first in the auction for us. But we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him,” he added.
It was therefore a surprise to see CSK ignore their former spinner, as Kings XI Punjab went ahead and nabbed the experienced off-spinner.
Ashwin was understandably a little disappointed with CSK, but has also made it clear that he is looking forward to playing for KXIP in the IPL.
“I was a tad disappointed because I have been here for the last ten years,” Ashwin said.
“Literally, I have owned that space around Chepauk. Every time I came on to bowl, the kind of roaring and cheering I got will always stick on to my head. Coming back there, to play against CSK, will probably motivate me more,” he made clear.
Ashwin will no doubt be extremely motivated when he returns to Chennai, and will certainly be looking to make his former employers pay. It will be a big moment for him, and for the Chennai fans who will surely give him a hero’s welcome.