Pune IPL franchise names MS Dhoni as captain for 2016 season

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jan 18, 2016 14:51 IST
India's MS Dhoni hits a six against Australia during their one day international cricket match in Melbourne. (AP Photo)

A day after India lost the Australia ODI series under the leadership of MS Dhoni, he was named captain of the Pune franchise for the 2016 season by owner Sanjiv Goenka.

The team has been christened Rising Pune Supergiants and its logo was unveiled by Goenka at a media briefing here on Monday. Goenka also announced the appointment of Raghu Iyer as CEO of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group Sports Vertical and will handle all the sports related activities of the Kolkata-based group. Iyer was formerly associated with Rajasthan Royals.

Asked why Dhoni was preferred captain despite his recent record and the fact that this team has two more options in Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis, Goenka said the India captain was the best choice. “We have a team of leaders, one that should excel. Yes, we have three captains but Dhoni was the best choice,” said Goenka.

When asked why Dhoni was made captain for only one season, Goenka said, “Right now the focus is only on 2016 and the team building. That’s why we named Dhoni as the captain,” he said.

Goenka refused to read much into Dhoni’s sliding form as captain with India. “Winning and losing is part of the game. I’m confident he will play well in the IPL,” said Goenka who added that the support staff for the team has more or less been decided upon. Asked if the experience of Michael Hussey would be sought, Goenka made it clear that his team won’t tread the path taken by Chennai Super Kings.

“This is not CSK. This is our team. Dhoni and Stephen Fleming is a great combination. Is there any doubt in that? Just because someone was in CSK won’t mean that he will be here as well,” he said.

Goenka was asked about the conflict of interest of Sourav Ganguly in the matter of co-owning ATK and also being part of the IPL governing council. “Sourav has no involvement in the team. And it’s not for me to react to it (conflict of interest),” said Goenka.

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