Kings XI Punjab co-owner Priety Zinta conveyed her best wishes to head coach Mike Hesson prior to the IPL auctions 2019 that takes place in Pink city Jaipur on December 18. In a tweet, the Bollywood actress wrote "All the best to coach @CoachHesson & everyone at @lionsdenkxip for the #IPLAuction today Looking forward to a Bigger, Better & Stronger #Kxipsquad #livepunjabiplaypunjabi #ting !".
All the best to coach @CoachHesson & everyone at @lionsdenkxip for the #IPLAuction today Looking forward to a Bigger, Better & Stronger #Kxipsquad #livepunjabiplaypunjabi #ting ! pic.twitter.com/X5K8jujPvj— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) December 18, 2018
Prior to the auctions, the Priety Zinta-owned KXIP had made clear intentions of targeting Indian fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat, former New Zealand captain and explosive batsman Brendon McCullum and West Indies' sensation Shimron Hetmyer.
Unadkat drew attention last season when he was sold to Rajasthan Royals as the costliest Indian player bagging 11.5 crores. He took 11 wickets for the franchise with an economy of 9.65.
On the other hand, Brendon McCullum had a rather poor season with RCB as he scored 127 runs in 6 matches. But the West Indian Hetmeyer will be the cynosure and like all franchises, KXIP will also go all-guns-blazing to get the wily U-19 WC winner from 2014. Hetmeyer has a base-price of 50 lakhs.
The Kings XI family will be without former Indian opener Virender Sehwag who served as the head of cricket operations and strategy for the Mohali-based team. Prior to this, he played two seasons for them until 2015.
According to ESPNcricinfo, post the appointment of former Kiwi coach Mike Hesson in October, the owners allowed him the freedom to take independent decision and make his own strategy and build his support staff.
This led to apparent fallout as Hesson believed retaining Sehwag would have meant that two people would be in-charge of the team which could lead to confusion among players as well as team management.