Since the formation of the Kings XI Punjab franchise in 2008, the campaign of the Punjab-based side has been a roller-coaster one. Playing all their home games at the PCA Stadium in Mohali and more recently in Dharamsala, KXIP has managed to win only 63 of their 132 matches.
Following a hard-fought battle, the Punjab-based franchise was purchased for $76 million through an association of Dabur group’s Mohit Burman (46% stake), Preity Zinta(23% stake), Ness Wadia(23% stake) and Karan Paul, who holds a minor stake from the buy. The team is one of just two in the IPL to have a Bollywood quotient.
The team with the most number of sponsors till date, KXIP has also been represented by nine different captains. Over the course of the nine seasons, KXIP’s best performance came in IPL 2014 when they finished runners-up while they entered the playoffs on only one other occasion in IPL 2008.
Here, we try to chart KXIP’s changes year-wise, right from the sponsors to the captains, while giving a brief description of their campaign.
IPL 2008: Shaun Marsh’s pyrotechnics
Sponsors: Reebok (Kit), Spice (Shirt front), Kotak (Shirt back)
Captain: Yuvraj Singh
In a heated inaugural auction, Irfan Pathan and Brett Lee made the big bucks, being bought for USD 950,000 and USD 900,000 respectively as the Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI bore the look of a strong team with the likes of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara bolstering the line-up.
Throughout the season, Shaun Marsh created headlines with his stunning prowess with the bat, amassing 616 from just 11 matches while Santhakumaran Sreesanth led the bowling with 19 wickets from 11 games. Fueled by Marsh’s pyrotechnics, Kings XI made it to the semi-finals but lost to an inspired Chennai Super Kings by nine wickets.
IPL 2009: Absence of foreign talent hurts the campaign
Sponsors: Reebok (Kit), Emirates (Shirt front), 7 UP (Shirt back)
Prior to the start of the tournament, the Kings XI Punjab found a new sponsor in the form of Emirates Airlines, which signed a three-year deal with the franchise. Under skipper Yuvraj Singh, who captained in the first edition as well, Punjab endured a rather rocky season with seven wins and seven losses.
In the absence of Marsh due to injury, none of the other batsmen could step up to the plate. Punjab found the path tough but a couple of late wins helped their campaign until a loss to Chennai Super Kings in their last league game smashed all their dreams of claiming a semi-final spot.
IPL 2010: New skipper, no luck
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara
Sponsors: Reebok (kit), Emirates (Shirt front), Mountain Dew (Shirt back)
Position: Last place
Ahead of IPL 3, Sangakkara was handed the skipper’s duties after Tom Moody felt Yuvraj Singh was not doing justice to the role. However, under the Sri Lankan’s captaincy, Punjab managed to win just four out of their 14 matches, even though Mahela Jayawardena enjoyed a good run with 439 runs from 13 matches, and finished with the ‘wooden spoon’ at the end of a dismal season.
IPL 2011: A new look squad
Sponsors: Reebok (Kit), Emirates (Shirt front), Pearls (Shirt back)
Captain: Adam Gilchrist
After a disappointing last place finish in the 2010 season, Kings XI decided to completely revamp the squad and fill the team with fresh talent. Adam Gilchrist was roped in and named the skipper while Shaun Marsh settled back at the top of the order.
While Marsh and Paul Valthathy enjoyed a good run with 504 and 463 runs respectively from 14 matches, Piyush Chawla’s expensive addition paid rich dividends as he complimented pacer, Ryan Harris, well, ending with 16 wickets. However, the efforts did not suffice and for the second consecutive season, KXIP failed to make it to the playoffs.
IPL 2012: Hussey takes over from Gilchrist
Sponsors: U.S Polo Assn.(kit), Videocon d2h (Shirt front), Lux Cozi (Shirt back)
Captain: Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey
Prior to the season, KXIP found themselves sporting completely new brands on their jerseys with US Polo Assn replacing Reebok after a four-year presence on their jersey. On the cricket field, however, Punjab continued to have a roller coaster season with eight wins and as many losses from 16 matches.
Although the batting and bowling department saw an unfamiliar presence in the form of uncapped players, Mandeep Singh and Parwinder Awana, inconsistent performances from star players hurt their campaign which meant KXIP did not qualify for the playoffs yet again.
IPL 2013: A repeat of IPL 2012, excluding a Killer Miller special
Sponsors: TYKA Sports (Kit), NVD Solar (Shirt front), Lux Cozi (Shirt back)
Captain: Adam Gilchrist
IPL 6 was almost a cut, copy and paste of the previous season. With eight wins and eight losses from 16 matches, KXIP yet again finished in 6th position albeit this time under Adam Gilchrist and new coach Darren Lehmann.
David Miller produced an exhilarating display of batting, striking at 164.56 while amassing 418 runs from 12 games including a stunning century against RCB. Apart from him, no other batsman stood up to the occasion, probably due to the inexperience in the squad, while the only other positive for KXIP was the form of Azhar Mahmood, who stood out with his all-round skills.
IPL 2014: Season of redemption
Sponsors (2014-2015): TYKA Sports (Kit), Tata Motors Prime (Shirt front), Arise Mobiles (Shirt back).
Captain (2014-15): George Bailey
IPL 2014 was the turning point for a faltering Kings XI Punjab. The squad was given a new look altogether and saw big names such as Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson amongst others making their way into the line-up.
Under newly appointed skipper George Bailey, Punjab got off to a dream start, winning all of their first five games courtesy some remarkable consistency and power-hitting from Maxwell.
Such was the influence of the Aussie, that Punjab entered their first final in seven years. His charisma rubbed off on Sehwag and Miller, who combined with Maxwell and caused nightmares for the opposition.
The bowling performed splendidly as well with the trio of Sandeep Sharma, Mitchell Johnson and Axar Patel bowling in tandem and picking wickets at regular intervals.
However, in the finals, even after posting 199 courtesy of a stunning century from Wriddhiman Saha, KXIP succumbed to KKR.
IPL 2015: A plummet down from second place to last
Position: Last place
Going in as favourites for IPL 2015, all KXIP could manage to do was end up in the last place with three wins from 14 matches. From second to last was quite a steep fall but it did not happen without reason. Glenn Maxwell, who had set IPL 2014 on fire, managed just 145 runs from 11 matches while Miller, who showed glimpses of consistency, could not find an ally.
In the bowling front, Anureet Singh and Axar Patel were both effective but leaked runs while Mitchell Johnson was targeted and could not gain control at any point in time. Although the composition of the previous year remained the same, the consistency went missing and hurt the campaign.
IPL 2016: Two contrasting captains, yet another wooden spoon
Sponsors: TYKA Sports (Kit), Tata Motors Prima (Shirt Front), HTC (Shirt back)
Captain: David Miller, Murali Vijay
Position: Last place
After a dismal 2015 season, Miller was handed over the captaincy duties, a move that was criticised as he had never captained before. Under his captaincy, KXIP endured a horrific start with just two wins from seven games following which the management decided to hand over the reins to seasoned campaigner Murali Vijay.
However, the move did not get them results as Vijay too managed to lead KXIP to just two more wins from the remaining seven games.
IPL 2017: What to expect?
Ahead of the season, KXIP has made some important buys such as Eoin Morgan and all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Darren Sammy, while also opting for pace in the form of uncapped sensation T.Natarajan and India international Varun Aaron apart from young off-spinner Rinku Singh.
With a new captain in Glenn Maxwell, KXIP will be hoping to display an aggressive brand of cricket, stitch the right combination and provide life to their faltering IPL campaign