Virender Sehwag leads the race to land the top job at Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab after the departure of Sanjay Bangar from the team. According to reports, Sehwag, who has been in a mentoring capacity for two years, will get the nod to coach the team for the 2017 season.
Bangar, who led the team to a runner-up finish in 2014, has been at the receiving end of criticism after they finished last in the past two editions of the tournament. The former Indian player had tendered his resignation in November, and it is understood the team management has finally accepted it. Bangar was also reportedly involved in an argument with Kings XI co-owner Preity Zinta last year after the team's second consecutive failed campaign.
“The decision was taken in the last week of November. I offered my resignation to the (Kings XI) board and they recently accepted my resignation,” Bangar told HT in an interview.
“It is a professional set-up. The IPL is a model which is run on producing results. In the course of the tournament, there are debates and deliberations. You take certain decisions and there are some which are right and there are some which don’t go your way. It is all a part and parcel. We as professionals need to accept this thing. (For the last) two seasons we didn’t get the results we wanted. It was time to move on and let fresh ideas come in,” said Bangar.
After he guided the IPL team to their maiden final, 44-year-old Bangar was immediately handed the role of the assistant coach by the BCCI under the tenure of Ravi Shastri who acted as the Team Director. Anil Kumble's introduction as the head coach saw Bangar retained in the staff as a batting coach.
Kings XI appear to be overseeing a change in the entire setup having released Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, and Kyle Abbott from their roster earlier this week while retaining the services of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller.