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

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.

PTI February 19, 2017 14:50:23 IST
IPL 2017: MS Dhoni removed as Rising Pune Supergiants captain; Steve Smith named replacement

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.

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

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.

Updated Date:

also read

IPL 2021: CSK's performance in final against KKR encapsulates everything that made them champions
First Cricket News

IPL 2021: CSK's performance in final against KKR encapsulates everything that made them champions

Chennai Super Kings' performance in the final presents a reliable picture on how they became the best team of the 2021 season.

IPL 2021 final: KKR seek fitting conclusion to dramatic comeback as CSK set sights on fourth title
First Cricket News

IPL 2021 final: KKR seek fitting conclusion to dramatic comeback as CSK set sights on fourth title

CSK will be playing their ninth IPL final in 12 appearances in what could be MS Dhoni's final season in charge, while KKR will draw inspiration from their 100 percent record in summit clashes.