Punjab Kings squash rumours of stripping Mayank Agarwal of captaincy for IPL 2023

PBKS have brushed aside concerns around a captaincy shift ahead of IPL 2023 after reports of Mayank Agarwal's ouster. 
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The Punjab franchise has issued a statement after reports of conflict with skipper Mayank Agarwal did the rounds. 

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have quashed reported rumours of their rift and potential captaincy change from Indian batter Mayank Agarwal ahead of IPL 2023. 

There was a report doing the rounds that Agarwal and PBKS could part ways before the next edition of the IPL. 

Published by Inside Sport, this report claimed that PBKS are "set to appoint a new captain" in place of Agarwal, who they want to "focus on his batting" after an underwhelming season with bat in hand. 

"It was only last season that PBKS appointed Mayank Agarwal as their captain. But as things stand, they are set to appoint a new captain in his place," the report claimed. 

The publishers also alleged to have gained quotes from an anonymous PBKS official, who said "Mayank is not in plans to lead" the team anymore. 

"He will need to focus on batting. He will be a crucial player for us. As for Anil, we are discussing a few options but nothing has materialized yet. We have time left. We will take a call at the right time," the official added as per the report. 

PBKS have now completely denied any such official remarks from their side, putting to bin the idea that the team is set for another overhaul. 

PBKS deny reports of Mayank Agarwal, Anil Kumble ouster 

Mayank Agarwal, who shuffled up and down the order under his leadership, did have a poor IPL 2022. He made only 196 runs from his 12 innings at an average of 16.33 and strike-rate of 122.50 on good batting surfaces in Maharashtra.

A stark contrast from the previous three seasons, partly played on challenging surfaces in UAE, where the right-hander played a formidable aggressor for Punjab and got the management entrusting him for captaincy honours after KL Rahul moved on at the end of IPL 2021. 

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The last season's dip from Agarwal, however, will not be leading to any immediate change in captaincy for PBKS, who didn't mention his name in their official release but denied any truth behind the Inside Sport report. 

"News reports published by a certain sports News website pertaining to captaincy of the Punjab Kings franchise has been making the rounds in the last few days. We would like to state that no official of the team has issued any statement on the same," PBKS stressed in an official statement. 

They also indirectly denied looking past Anil Kumble as head coach of the side, as suggested by the report, which claimed that the franchise is in talks with Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan for coaching roles ahead of IPL 2023.