KXIP is now Punjab kings & franchise co-owner Ness Wadia said on Saturday that the franchise needed to rebrand itself after so many years of the IPL & the name change was something which was wanted since 2019.
Ness Wadia feels Punjab Kings is a simple name as compared to KXIP & will connect more with their loyal fan base. “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 told PTI, referring to the team’s title-less run in the IPL since the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2008.
“Kings XI Punjab had a reference to the playing XI. Punjab Kings is more inclusive and will resonate better with the fans.”
“We had been thinking of a name change for the 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.”
With the COVID-19 cases reducing drastically in India the upcoming edition is set to be played in the country. Ness Wadia is excited about the IPL happening in the country itself. “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 sure the right decision will be taken in due time. We are still two months away from the tournament,” said Wadia.
The BCCI approved a 10 team IPL from 2022 at its AGM last year. To start with there could even be nine teams before the event expands further.
“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.
On his team’s purchase at the auction Ness said, “Anil and KL are quite happy about the players they have got. Now just they need to go out there and perform.”