Virender Sehwag's innings at Kings XI Punjab has come to an end. Having played for the franchise for two seasons, Sehwag served initially as Kings XI mentor in 2016 before taking up the additional role of head of cricket operations and strategy last January. However, having roped in former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as the head coach, the Kings XI owners felt that retaining Sehwag could lead to complications at a later stage.
The parting seems to have been cordial as Sehwag himself made the decision public on his Twitter feed, saying: "All good things must come to an end and I've had a wonderful time at Kings 11 Punjab, for 2 seasons as a player and 3 as a mentor. My association with Kings 11 comes to an end and I am thankful for the time I have had here and wish the team all the very best for the times ahead."
Incidentally, Sehwag's contract was up for renewal, but ESPNcricinfo understands the owners were keen to allow Hesson the freedom to take decisions and build his own strategy and support staff. Retaining Sehwag would have meant there would be two people in charge of the team, which could have created confusion among both players and team management.
During Sehwag's tenure, Kings XI won 17 matches and lost 23. In 2017, when he was just the mentor, they came within one match of qualifying for the playoffs, but lost to Rising Pune Supergiants in a key game. They would end up fifth on the points table that season, their best under Sehwag.
Hesson, who replaced Brad Hodge as the Kings XI coach, met the franchise's leadership group this week to start planning which players will need to be released and to formulate the strategy for the IPL auction in December. In IPL 2018, Kings XI were led by R Ashwin, and finished second from bottom, having been joint leaders on the points table at the halfway stage.