Mumbai: Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been removed as the captain of Indian Premier League franchise Rising Pune Supergiants.
The 35-year-old has is set to be replaced by current Australia captain and world no. 1 Test batsman Steve Smith, according to reports.
"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," Rising Pune Supergiants owner Sanjiv Goenka told PTI.
"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.
Dhoni, who had led the Indian cricket team for nine years, is one of the most decorated skippers from the country. The wicketkeeper-batsman has led India to the ICC T20 world cup in 2007, the ICC World Cup in 2011, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, while also leading the national side to the summit of the ICC Test rankings.
Dhoni has shown a lot of success in the IPL as well, winning the tournament with the now defunct franchise Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011. He also led CSK to the T20 Champions League win in 2010 and 2014.
The Ranchi-lad had quit Test captaincy mid-way through India’s tour of Australia in 2014/15, and relinquished his limited overs captaincy just a few days after the turn of the new year in 2017, paving the way for star India batsman Virat Kohli to take over his mantle for Team India across all formats of the game.
Steve Smith, who is set to replace Dhoni as the captain of the Supergiants, had successfully led the Australian side to the numero uno spot in Test cricket.
While the Baggy Greens have faced relative failure in recent series, being whitewashed 3-0 in Sri Lanka, and losing 2-1 at home to South Africa, the Aussies came back strongly, whitewashing Pakistan 3-0 at home.
The 27-year-old is currently in India, leading a resurgent Australia side, as they take on the current Test world no. 1 India in a four-match Test series....