On the eve of the auction for the 10th season of the Indian Premier League, it has emerged that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been removed as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants. Australian captain Steve Smith will take over from the former Indian skipper.

b’MS Dhoni was sacked as skipper of RPS. IPL’

But he did not step down… in fact, the team confirmed that he was sacked – obviously they didn’t say it blatantly, but politely – like any other team making an announcement after firing a coach or a manager.

“Dhoni has not stepped down. We have appointed Steve Smith as the skipper for the upcoming season. Frankly speaking, we did not have a good last season and we wanted someone young to lead the side and revamp it ahead of the upcoming season 10,” Rising Pune Supergiants owner Sanjiv Goenka told PTI.

Former India captain Dhoni led the now-suspended Chennai franchise to Twenty20 league title victories in 2010 and 2011 but under his captaincy Pune finished second last in their maiden IPL season last year.

“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 franchisee’s best interests in mind,” Goenka added.

Feature image source: IPL