THE PUNE FRANCHISE of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be named Rising Pune Supergiants (RPSG) with India's limited overs skipper M.S. Dhoni captaining the side, its owner announced on Monday.
The franchise is owned by the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and its chairman Sanjiv Goenka exuded confidence that the new team would do well in its maiden season.
On opting for Dhoni to lead the side despite having South African T20 skipper Faf du Plesis and Australian captain Steve Smith in the squad, Goenka said:
"Yes, we have three captains in our team and we are proud of that fact. All three are outstanding leaders but looking into all aspects, we felt Dhoni to be the best choice".
"Dhoni is somebody who has shown tremendous leadership in all formats of the game that he has played. We have great confidence in him," he said.
Refusing to comment on Dhoni being under fire over India's poor performance in the ongoing One-Day series in Australia, Goenka asserted the existence of three captains in his squad will not impact the harmony of the team.
On Dhoni being named as the captain only for this season, Goenka said: "Our focus right now is 2016. Being a new team we have to do well, so he has been named for our first season".
While the Pune franchise has opted for the former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach-captain combination of Stephen Fleming and Dhoni, Goenka denied having any role for Michael Hussey as the new team's batting consultant.
"This is not CSK, this is our team. Just because somebody was in Chennai team doesn't mean he will have to do the same here.
"Dhoni-Fleming is a great combination. We will go with whoever we believe is in the best interest of our team," said Goenka.
"Because we are a new team, that cannot be an excuse for lack of performance in the field. We have to do what we have to do. We have to make sure we have to perform well and we are very confident of doing that," he said.
Goenka also announced former CEO of Rajasthan Royals, Raghu Iyer, as the head of the sports wing of the company which also co-owns Indian Super League franchise Atletco de Kolkata.