Mahendra Singh Dhoni may not have suggested that he wanted to step down as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS).
It was a very difficult decision to take, according to Sanjiv Goenka, RPS owner. To a specific question if Dhoni has been sacked, Goenka did not dismiss the question. “We felt we needed to go with a younger captain,” he clarified.
Steve Smith, who takes over the reins of RPS, was very impressive with his leadership of the Aussie side, according to Goenka.
“I have the highest regard for MS Dhoni as a leader and a person. Dhoni will continue to be an important part of our team. He is supportive of the decision keeping the franchise’s best interests in mind,” Goenka told NDTV.
Dhoni has been captain of the team for each year of the nine years of IPL.
Dhoni may have had to pay the price for the poor performance of RPS in their first season. Of the 14 matches, they could win just five and finished at the bottom of the table. In comparison, under Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), won two championships and reached the final four times.
Dhoni announced his decision to step down as the captain of India for the shorter versions of the game. Kohli, who was leading India in test matches, is now the captain of Team India across all formats.
Rush for Stokes
Despite the Rs 14.5 crore tag, Goenka clarified that they did not overpay for Ben Stokes. “We wanted the allrounder to join the team. The budget was Rs 15 crore since we believe he is a match winner,” he said.
Barring the knockout games, Stokes will be available for all the 14 playoff games. He will leave the team midway because of his commitment to the national team.