Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Punjab IPL team fans hope for dream squad

CHANDIGARH: Die-hard fans of Indian Premier League team King's XI Punjab (KXIP) are keeping their fingers crossed ahead of the players' auction scheduled to take place on Saturday in Bangalore with many hoping for the return of former players like Irfan Pathan, Brett Lee and Kumar Sangakkara to the team.

Fans are, however, bitterly disappointed that homegrown talent Yuvraj Singh might not even feature in IPL-V this time around due to health issues.

As things stand, Brendon McCullum, V V S Laxman and S Sreesanth will be among several players from the terminated franchise Kochi Tuskers' who will be up for grabs for the IPL auction on February 4.

Other players like Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene and spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, besides Indian players R P Singh, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Vinay Kumar, Ramesh Powar and V R V Singh would also be there.

Talking to TOI, Aneesh Dhawan, a resident of Sector 22, Chandigarh, said, "The KXIP team, which played last year's IPL, was not a balanced one as was evident from the side losing too many matches once their top order collapsed. However, Paul Valthaty was the best thing to happen to KXIP and his performances helped us almost make it to the play-offs. But the team is sorely missing having Brett Lee and Irfan Pathan, as apart from Praveen Kumar, no other bowler managed to do well against other teams."

Priya Singh, a resident of phase IX in Mohali, said, "I was really sad that Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) left KXIP and went to the Pune team as being born and brought up in Chandigarh, he should have remained with the Punjab team. I learnt that he may not play in the entire IPL-V because of his lung ailment and that made me really unhappy. Even though he played for Pune last time around, my friends and I still cheered for him. I hope that the Punjab IPL team manages to get some marquee players in the auction this time and bring the success that the team's fans crave."

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