All the news updates in the lead up to the 2021 season of the IPL

March 27

The Punjab Kings coach Anil Kumble says their pacer Mohammed Shami is back to full fitness after suffering a wrist injury during the Adelaide Test against Australia last December. “He is fine as far as I know,” Kumble told Sportstar on Friday. He added that Shami might draft into the playing XI for the Kings’ first game itself against the Rajasthan Royals on April 12.

“He is coming to the bio-bubble for the quarantine and he will be out in a few days,” Kumble said. “I know he hasn’t played any matches since his injury but he is good to go. We are really looking forward to him playing a few practice games and then getting ready for the first game.”

After returning home following the injury, Shami had started light training at the NCA in Bengaluru last month. Shami had played all 14 games and picked up 20 wickets for the erstwhile Kings XI Punjab team during the last edition of the IPL in the UAE.

March 24

IPL 2021 will see the Chennai Super Kings don a new jersey, with straps of camouflage added on the shoulders, bordered with gold bands, and three stars emblazoned above the franchise logo.

A Super Kings release on Tuesday said the camouflage is a tribute to India’s armed forces, where their captain MS Dhoni holds the position of honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, having also trained with the Parachute Regiment in 2019.

The gold bands, meanwhile, signify the “high standards set by the team both in terms of consistency and fair play – CSK won the IPL fair play award six times in 11 seasons”. The three stars denote the three IPL titles won by the Super Kings in 2010, 2011 and 2018, with them having qualified for the playoffs in 10 seasons and the final eight times.

“It has been on our mind for some time now to find ways to raise awareness about the significant and selfless role of the armed forces. The camouflage is an appreciation of their service… they are the true heroes,” Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan said.

March 12

Damien Wright, the 45-year-old former fast bowler with the experience of coaching in Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh, has been signed up as the bowling coach of the Punjab Kings for the 2021 season of the IPL.

Wright, who started his 123-game first-class career in 1997-98 for Worcestershire, played representative cricket till 2011, including for Australia A, and turned to coaching after quitting the game. In the T20 league circuit, he has worked with the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Stars in the BBL in the past.

The Punjab Kings, who have overhauled their side as well as their name – after being Kings XI Punjab for 13 seasons – had former South African pacer Charl Langeveldt as their designated bowling coach last season, with a list of support staffers that includes Anil Kumble, Andy Flower, Jonty Rhodes and Wasim Jaffer.

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