Pune, May 11 (IANS) Pune Warriors out-of-form captain Sourav Ganguly finally 'rested' himself Friday allowing Australian Steven Smith to lead the team against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here Friday.
Pune Warriors with their decision to rest Ganguly has also ended all speculations about the former India captain's future with the Sahara-owned franchise.
It is highly unlikely to see Ganguly in any of the Pune Warriors remaining two games in the season that again turned out to be disappointing for them.
Ganguly is likely to be seen as a mentor from the next season as announced by team owner Subrata Roy.
Roy said Ganguly wanted to take rest to give youngsters a chance.
'Sourav wants to give youngsters a chance in the last games,' said Roy. 'Sourav will be the mentor next season. We pushed him to play in IPL 5,' he said.
Roy, however, refused to blame Ganguly's leadership for the team's poor run in the season. 'Ganguly is a fine captain, our team lacked good Indian talent,' he said.
This is the third instance this year that a captain of a franchise has not been selected. Kumar Sangakkara of Deccan Chargers dropped himself after a string of poor performances before taking charge of the team again. Royal Challengers' Daniel Vettori has made for a young Virat Kohli.