What’s the story?
Rising Pune Supergiant’s new captain Steve Smith has clarified that there is no bad blood between him and MS Dhoni, the franchise’s captain last year. Smith, along with Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes, addressed the media and unveiled the team’s jersey for IPL 2017 at a press conference.
“There are no issues between MS Dhoni and me. We have shared some messages, MS Is very supportive and there is no change in my professional relationship with him or anyone else”, Smith said.
In case you didn’t know…
With just five wins in 14 games last year, Rising Pune had a torrid season last year, ending in the penultimate spot in the points table.
MS Dhoni was removed as captain of the Rising Pune Supergiant ahead of the IPL’s tenth season, with the team opting for Australian captain Steve Smith as his replacement.
The heart of the matter
Smith was present at a press conference along with Ben Stokes, the most expensive player of the IPL 2017 auctions, and Ajinkya Rahane, captain of the Indian Team for the final Test in the recently concluded series against Australia.
Raghu Iyer, the CEO of RPSG, announced Moto India as the new sponsors of the franchise’s jersey, and unveiled it with Rahane, Stokes and Smith by his side. The new logo sits in the centre of the jersey, while the colour and pattern of the jersey remain the same.
When asked about why MS Dhoni was removed as captain, Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of the franchise, stated that it was a new season with a new captain, and the team is completely united.
Steve Smith added that despite the fact that there are plenty of captains floating around in the team, it is important to not have too many opinions, because it can cloud judgement.
With a new captain and a new jersey, the Pune franchise will begin their IPL campaign against Mumbai Indians on April 6 at the MCA stadium in Pune.
With trouble already brewing between the Indian and Australian players after a hard-fought series that had its share of controversies and on-field banter, the players have decided to start afresh and diffuse all the tension between them. With this clarification, Steve Smith has brought to rest all speculations about a possible rift in the dressing room, and has ensured that there is no negative energy in the team before the IPL season starts.