Most Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises cannot help but smile wistfully when any of their players go ahead and do well for Team India.
For them, they almost blurt out, is like their share price soaring in Indian cricket’s stock market. So is the case right now with Kings XI Punjab, when team captain Yuvraj Singh is currently enjoying the form of his life.
The other day in Colombo, Yuvraj blasted 117 runs off 95 balls with 17 fours and a six, an innings that immediately caught the attention of his IPL team owner Ness Wadia. The innings brought Yuvraj his 11th One-day hundred — his third in the last eight matches. To go a step further, they were all scored at a strike-rate of more than hundred.
“Yuvraj is doing great and if feels so good when your franchise player is in such great form. Even Yusuf Pathan did so well. It’s not just about our team but generally how franchises feel good about their players doing well for India,” says Wadia.
With the batting order in such good form, not to forget Kumara Sangakkara’s innings too (the Lankan is in Yuvraj’s team), Kings XI are roaring ahead of the second season beginning April. There’s little they intend to do in signing up new players, simply for the reason that Wadia believes “every team needs time to gel as a unit.”
Except for a genuine all-rounder, Kings XI might hardly find anybody interesting in the auction on February 6. “We’re looking at Andrew Flintoff,” says Wadia, but also adding that his franchise doesn’t believe in throwing money just like that. “For how long will Flintoff be available, which matches particularly, how will it fall in line with the team’s requirements. These are aspects were looking into,” says Wadia.
Therefore, what Kings XI eventually does about Flintoff will only be known at the auction.