IPL 2023: Shikhar Dhawan appointed Punjab Kings skipper for next season

Punjab Kings, under Mayank's leadership, finished the 2022 season in the sixth position with seven wins from 14 matches.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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Punjab Kings have replaced Mayank Agarwal with Shikhar Dhawan as their new captain for the Indian Premier League 2023 (IPL) season after the latest board meeting on Wednesday (November 2). It is understood that Dhawan, who is also leading India in the recent ODI matches, was backed by the Kings' new head coach Trevor Bayliss in a meeting.

Mayank and Arshdeep Singh were the only retained players by the Kings ahead of the IPL mega-auction in February 2022. The former was appointed a captain before the start of the 2022 season, who succeded star batter KL Rahul. Punjab Kings, with Anil Kumble as the head coach, paid a big amount of INR 8.25 crore to win Dhawan's signature in the mega-auction.

Dhawan has been a consistent performer in the recent IPL tournaments. He scored 618 runs with Delhi Capitals during 2020 season and scored the highest 460 runs in 14 matches for Punjab Kings on his debut season. Fans and cricket experts, including former Indian coach Ravi Shastri, were demanding Mayank's removal from captaincy after the conclusion of the season and many were tipping Dhwan to replace him in recent speculations.

Punjab Kings to release Mayank Agarwal?

Punjab Kings also boosted their pool with big-name signings in form of Kagiso Rabada, Liam Livingstone, and Jonny Bairstow. But team struggled for consistency under the Mayank's leadership, who also failed to perform with a new role. Mayank scored only 196 runs from 12 innings at a poor strike rate of 122.50 with one fifty-plus knock.

Mayank is also struggling for consistency in domestic cricket tournaments and has also lost his place in the current Indian team setup. It will be interesting to see if Punjab Kings decide to retain their former captain ahead of the upcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction as teams have until November 15 to submit a list of the retained players. Punjab Kings might release Mayank who cost them INR 12 crore when they retained him for the 2022 season.