Mohali: Trouble is brewing in the Kings XI Punjab dressing room, compounding the woes of a team already languishing at the bottom of the table this season.
Earlier this month, reports suggested that left-handed Australian batsman Shaun Marsh was ruled out of the remainder of the season due to injury. But a highly-placed source told this newspaper that it was, in fact, a brawl in the dressing room that led to Marsh going back home.
According to the source, Marsh was the first one to throw a punch in the fight with unnamed teammates. Soon after this incident, David Miller was axed as the team captain and instead was replaced by Murali Vijay. The source suggests the two incidents might not be unrelated.
While the change in captaincy already indicated there was chaos among the Kings XI ranks, this new nugget of information throws fresh light on the proceedings. There are allegedly sharp divisions in the dressing room, with the Indian players forming a clique of their own, led presumably by Vijay.
Players are not the only ones feeling the heat for the team’s poor show this season. With just three wins from 10 games, the owners have been left red-faced.
The source has suggested that team CEO Fraser Castellino could be one of the fall guys for Punjab’s debacle of a season. Fraser, it was learnt, was already in the management’s bad books. He was informed that his position with the team was up for review just one match into the current season. Now, he is most definitely on his way out.
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar on Thursday dismissed reports which claimed that he was abused by franchise co-owner Preity Zinta following their one run loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mohali on May 9.
“After our one run defeat against RCB, there was the usual post match discussion on the match with Kings XI owners. Some reports in the media have blown the issue totally out of proportion by fabricating a non existent chain of events,” said Bangar on his Facebook page.
Zinta too has rubbished the report. “I most definitely did not be disrespectful to our coach nor abuse any one & definitely did not use the four letter word. Your story reeks of sexism and is incorrect & exaggerated beyond words,” she wrote on her Facebook page.