Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia explained the reasons behind changing the name of the franchise ahead of the Indian Premier League 2021 season. Punjab Kings were earlier known as Kings XI Punjab for the first 13 seasons, but now will be known by their new name.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Wadia explained that the management were looking to change the brand name for a long time but they were put on hold due to Covid-19.
“We just felt that we wanted to relook at things. We needed to rebrand and reinvent ourselves after so many years. As they say if something doesn’t work, change it and try and get it working,” Wadia said.
“Kings XI Punjab had a reference to the playing XI. Punjab Kings is more inclusive and will resonate better with the fans,” he further explained.
KXIP are yet to win an IPL title and have only made it to the final once in 2013, where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders.
“We had been thinking of a name change for last couple of years. COVID came in 2020 so we put it on hold. We thought if we could do it at the big auction next year or the smaller auction this season, so finally decided to do it this year,” Wadia added.
With the COVID caseload coming down drastically in India, the upcoming edition is set to be played in the country. Wadia is excited about the IPL returning home.
“The UAE has had a huge amount of cases recently. India is safer at this point. We just need to make sure that strict protocols are in place, like we had in the UAE.
“Hopefully, some part of the stadiums will be filled with spectators. I don’t see full crowds being allowed for the games. I am the sure the right decision will be taken in due time. We are still two months away from the tournament,” he added.
Speaking on the IPL expansion plans for the 2022 season, Wadia said: “I don’t know how nine will work, 10 is a good number. It is also good that they are expanding the brand. It also increases the fan base and more players get a chance to play the IPL,” Wadia said.
PK bought Australia speedster Jhye Richardson for ₹14 crore at the IPL 2021 Auction earlier this week. The franchise also bought allrounders Riley Meredith and Moises Henriques, England batsman Dawid Malan, Windies pacer Fabian Allen, and domestic talent Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Saurabh Kumar, and Utkarsh Singh.
Speaking on the latest additions to the franchise, Wadia said: “Anil and KL are quite happy about the players they have got. Now just they need to go out there and perform.”
(With PTI inputs)