Less than 24 hours before the IPL auction 2017, a couple of major announcements have come through from a couple of franchises.
The biggest of those is Mitchell Starc and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) parting ways mutually. The Australian pacer has quit RCB and IPL because he wants to rest his body and be in top shape for the national side.
Starc’s pull out means RCB’s purse balance ahead of the IPL 2017 auction on February 20 has risen by five crore rupees and they can, obviously, now bring in another overseas player compared to just one previously.
The Australian pacer had been a part of the three-time IPL finalists (2009, 2011, 2016), RCB, since IPL 2014 and missed IPL 2016 because he was recovering from a left foot injury. The left-arm pacer from New South Wales picked up 34 wickets in two seasons for the Royal Challengers.
RCB must now decide who they want to replace Starc with, albeit they are left with a plethora of options like Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Matt Henry, Nathan Coulder-Nile, etc.
In another shocking revelation, MS Dhoni will not captain the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in IPL 2017; the captaincy mantle has been passed on to Steve Smith, the Australian captain who will be key to the touring Aussies in the upcoming four-Test series against India.
The Pune franchise opted to appoint Smith as captain after RPS, under Dhoni, finished 7th in the last IPL season. The decision was conveyed to Dhoni, who, according to the franchise, “was cooperation personified” after the matter was conveyed to him.