Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been sacked as the skipper of Rising Pune Supergiants ahead of VIVO IPL 2017. Dhoni, who led Pune in their debut season, will handover the role to Australian skipper Steve Smith.
The 35-year-old finisher was recently replaced as India's limited-overs captain by Virat Kohli.
The shocking decision comes a day before the IPL 2017 auction which is supposed to be held in Bengaluru on 20th February.
The 35-year-old, who led Chennai Super Kings for nine editions starting from the league's inaugural season in 2008, recently made a decision to quit ODI captaincy and hand bandwagon of all three formats to Virat Kohli.
Speaking to CricketNext, owner Sanjiv Goenka said that Smith would be leading the team in the upcoming edition. Twitterati is abuzz with cricket fans questioning Dhoni's removal as Rising Pune Supergiants captain.
"We could have done much better". I don't need to tell you that he is a great player and captain and there is no doubt he remains a backbone of the team as a batsman and wicket-keeper. I have the luxury of two current global captains in my team. "He will get all the support he needs to lead Rising Pune Supergiants", he added. He had five not outs in the tournament past year that helped bump his average to 40.57.
Under Dhoni, Supergiants finished second-last in their maiden IPL season in 2016, winning only five games and losing nine in a campaign ravaged by injuries to key players.
He has been with the Pune franchise ever since.
The 27-year-old is now in India, leading a resurgent Australia side, as they take on the current Test world no. 1 India in a four-match Test series.
They gathered only 10 points and somehow finished above last placed Kings XI Punjab. Although the team started well with a win over Mumbai Indians in the first match, the team failed to maintain the consistency.
Dhoni removed as IPL Rising Pune Supergiants captain
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