Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unexpected sacking as the skipper of Rising Pune Supergiant before the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League had caused quite a stir among the cricketing fraternity.
The most decorated captain in the history of Indian cricket, Dhoni is also one of the most successful captains in the history of India’s premier T20 league too. He led the now-suspended Chennai Super Kings to two back-to-back Indian Premier League titles, two Champions League T20 title, six Indian Premier League final.
However, a poor inaugural season where the Supergiant finished a lowly seventh in the eight-team tournament under Dhoni forced the franchise owners to appoint Steve Smith as the skipper of the team.
The franchise faced widespread criticism for the decision but the team has now moved on. Under their new skipper Smith, they have made it to their maiden IPL final and franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka is also not keen to read too much on the controversy and the debate surrounding the change in captaincy.
Insisting that all his players are equally important for him, the Kolkata-based business tycoon said Dhoni is an integral part of the team.
“The change in captaincy is a thing of the past and, so, not entirely relevant at this stage. MS Dhoni is an integral part of our franchise and he’s provided valuable inputs. All my players are equally important for me. Each hand has five fingers, but how do I pick one as more important than the rest?,” Goenka was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
When asked about Smith’s captaincy, Goenka added:
“Steve has been exceptional with his strategies. With his field placements. He has a great mind. Understandably, it took him a few matches to understand the players, but once he did, there was no stopping us. In fact, we won eight out of the last 10 league matches, which is an impressive number.”
Meanwhile, the IPL Governing Council has given a strong indication that Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions will not get the extension after this season. Both the teams were introduced in the 2016 edition after Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for a couple of years on corruption charges.
When asked about it, Goenka said he is yet to hear anything from the Indian cricket board before expressing his desire of remaining involved with the game and IPL.
“Haven’t heard anything from the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It’s for the Board to talk. Obviously, I’d like my association with cricket and want IPL to continue,” he said.