IPL 2017: MS Dhoni removed as Rising Pune Supergiants captain; Steve Smith named replacement

PTI, Feb, 19 2017

Kolkata: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Sunday removed as captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and replaced by Australian Steve Smith, ending his innings as skipper in both international and franchise cricket.

Dhoni, who had stepped down as India's limited-overs captain to snap his international run as captain earlier this year, will, however, continue to be a part of the Pune franchise as a player.

"Dhoni has not stepped down. We have appointed Steve Smith as the skipper for the upcoming season. Frankly speaking, we did not have a good last season and we wanted someone young to lead the side and revamp it ahead of the upcoming season 10," RPS owner Sanjiv Goenka told PTI.

MS Dhoni did not have a successful time as RPS skipper in the IPL last year. Sportzpics

MS Dhoni did not have a successful time as RPS skipper in the IPL last year. Sportzpics

This is the first time that the 35-year-old, who had stepped down from Team India captaincy on his own terms in all formats, has been removed from the top position.

The decision comes a day before the players' auctions scheduled to be held in Bengaluru.

"I have the highest regard for MS Dhoni as a leader and a person. Dhoni continues to be an integral member of our team. He is supportive of the decision keeping the franchise's best interests in mind," Goenka added.

The most expensive player of the tournament that began in 2008, Dhoni also has been among the most successful.

Part of the now suspended Chennai Super Kings franchise from 2008 to 2015, Dhoni led the team to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. Besides, he also led Chennai to the Champions League T20 trophies in 2010 and 2014.

He was the first one picked in the only draft held in the IPL, in December 2015, after Chennai and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years and two new franchises — Pune and Gujarat Lions — were given the option of choosing up to five players each.

He has been with the Pune franchise ever since. The man replacing him in the leadership role, the 27-year-old Smith, is currently the captain of the Australian cricket team in all three formats.

He was appointed Test captain in 2014/15 and he took over the ODI captaincy reigns after the 2015 World Cup.

Pune, who were one of the two teams along with Gujarat Lions to be inducted last season in place of the the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, were plagued with injury issues.

They just about avoided the wooden spoon to finish ahead of Kings XI Punjab at the seventh place in the eight-team standings of IPL 2015.

Although the team started well with a win over Mumbai Indians in the first match, it failed to maintain the consistency with the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis and Steven Smith all withdrawing due to injuries.

Published Date: Feb 19, 2017 | Updated Date: Feb 19, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115