Starc to miss IPL, Smith succeeds Dhoni


Mitchell Starc will not play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2017 Indian Premier League, while his Australia team-mate Steve Smith has replaced MS Dhoni as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants.

RCB announced on Sunday that Starc and the franchise "have mutually decided to discontinue their association".

After a busy period for Australia and with a Test tour of India coming up, Starc - who missed the previous IPL season through injury - will also sit out this year's lucrative Twenty20 competition, although the 27-year-old fast bowler claimed he hopes to play for RCB again in the future.

"At this point in time after a long summer and with a big tour of India still ahead I think it is in my best interests, both physically and mentally, for me to have a break, spend time with my family and take the opportunity to work on getting back to full fitness," Starc said in a statement released by Cricket Australia.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Bangalore and I certainly hope to be back playing for them in the future and wish them all the best in this year's IPL."

Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's executive general manager of high performance, added: "Following discussions with both Mitch, Royal Challengers Bangalore and our own medical staff, it has been agreed that Mitch would benefit considerably from a break in cricket to allow him to fully rehabilitate and strengthen his body ahead of the Champions Trophy."

Former India captain Dhoni, meanwhile, will give up Pune's leadership role to Australia skipper Smith.  

"I have the highest regard for MS Dhoni as a leader and a person," Sanjiv Goenka, owner of the Pune franchise, said in a statement.

"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."