Angry Mohammad Azharuddin slams Pune's 'third-rate' decision to sack MS Dhoni
What’s the story?
Former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has launched a furious tirade against Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) for removing MS Dhoni from the franchise’s captaincy for the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition. The 54-year old went on to urge Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to look into the entire situation.
“The decision and manner of execution was third-rate and disgraceful. Dhoni has been a jewel in Indian cricket, he has won almost everything in the 8-9 years of his captaincy and even though the franchise can say they run the team with their own money, shouldn't they have seen Dhoni's stature and credibility before first stripping him of captaincy and then not even letting Dhoni the grace (to step down)? I feel angry and sad as a former cricketer”, Azharuddin told Aaj Tak.
“What will a captain do when the team doesn't play well? If Dhoni wasn't a good and an inspirational captain would he have won two IPL titles (with Chennai Super Kings)? Belittling Indian sporting legends like Dhoni through corporate boardrooms is stooping down to the lowest.”
A day before the IPL Auction, Dhoni was ousted from Supergiants’ captaincy. Australian skipper Steven Smith has been tasked to replace the veteran at the helm of affairs. The development should bring an end to the wicket-keeper batsman’s remarkable captaincy career at all levels of the game. Earlier this year, he had passed over the reins of India’s limited-overs teams to Virat Kohli and featured as a player in the ODI as well T20I series against England.
The heart of the matter
Sanjiv Goenka, owner of Rising Pune Supergiants, stated that the decision to remove Dhoni was taken after due consideration with the 35-year old and the seasoned campaigner remained supportive of the move.
However, Azharuddin alleged that the franchise did not consult Dhoni before sacking him from the role and the team management should have given him an honourable exit by announcing it as the gloveman’s decision. He even accused the Supergiants of not thinking about the sportsman before urging BCCI to resolve the matter.
Undoubtedly, Dhoni remains one of the most successful captains in limited-overs cricket and the IPL. But, seeing as they are the ones investing their money, any on-field move taken by the franchise is intended to improve the team’s chances in the tournament.
The man himself wants to complete the final phase of his career without the burden of captaincy. Despite Azharuddin’s views, the BCCI cannot interfere in a privately owned franchise’s strategic decision.