R Ashwin has played 28 IPL games for KXIP, taking 25 wickets and scoring 146 runs which at best could be termed modest. @PTI

Former India captain and Delhi Capitals (DC) mentor Sourav Ganguly said that their franchise will be happy to have senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in their ranks for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) provided Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) releases him.

Ashwin led KXIP for a couple of seasons without much success and there has been news that the Preity Zinta co-owned franchise is ready to trade him off.

“We would be more than happy to have Ashwin if KXIP is ready to release him,” said Ganguly, who was in the national capital for a promotional event, sounding hopeful that the Delhi franchise can close the deal.

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Ashwin has played 28 IPL games for KXIP, taking 25 wickets and scoring 146 runs which at best could be termed modest.

Ganguly also said that he didn’t expect Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be “picked” for the upcoming T20 Internationals against South Africa and said the team management is absolutely right in persisting with young Rishabh Pant.

While Ganguly doesn’t want people to “jump the gun” as far as Dhoni’s future is concerned, he made it clear that skipper Virat Kohli‘s “expectations” and “what he is communicating” to the senior-most player in the team is paramount.

“No, I didn’t expect him to be picked for this series (against South Africa),” Ganguly replied when asked if he was surprised with Dhoni’s omission even though the official reason is his “unavailability”.

“You could make out from West Indies (T20) series, that they (team management) wanted to give Rishabh a chance. They want to pursue with him, which is rightly so. Because when MS came in young, he was also persisted with,” said Dhoni’s first international captain.