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Smith to lead Motorola-backed Rising Pune Supergiant, Ben Stokes on board

MUMBAI: Heralding a new edition of Indian Premier League with renewed hope and vision in their second season, Rising Pune Supergiant, made a dashing entry into the 10th season of IPL, with their dynamic new Captain, Steve Smith and spirited middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane by welcoming the new addition to the team, England all-rounder Ben Stokes, handing over team jersey in the presence of the team owner, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka.

Goenka said, “I would like to congratulate the team’s think tank for putting up a good side for the upcoming season of IPL. I welcome Ben Stokes in our family. Steve Smith has performed well for last one year, his leadership inspires and will help the team work together as a unit.”

The newest addition to the side English all-rounder, Ben Stokes said, “Playing for Rising Pune Supergiant is definitely going to be a high point of my career. This is a chance which I will work towards my team’s advantage with stalwarts like MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Ravichandran Ashwin and Steve Smith, to learn and enjoy the games at the same time.’’

India’s top order batsman who started his international career with Twenty20 International in the year 2011, Ajinkya Rahane happily spoke about his part in the team, “I am quite in sync with the team structure as this will be my second year with Rising Pune Supergiant. Our team is well balanced with a good mix of talent from both national and international players. Ben Stokes is one of the most talented all-rounder’s in the world and we hope to get good support from him. Imran Tahir’s inclusion is definitely going to strengthen our bowling department and will lend variety to the team.”

After fantastic performance in recent India- Australia cricket series captain Steve Smith has been endowed with a new responsibility of leading the team in this edition of IPL. Leading Australia with his dynamic captaincy in all three formats of cricket since 2015 and ending 2016 successfully after topping the ICC rankings due to his high octane performances throughout the year Steve Smith was the best choice to captain the team who will bring in all his experiences playing for the Australian side.

Steve Smith spoke about his new role, "My experience of playing in India has been wonderful so far. This year we also have a new member Ben Stokes with us who will balance experience and skill in right dose. High and orderly performance with good bowling, fielding and batting will be the benchmark for judging the team. We hope to make Pune proud with good cricket.”

The team also announced Motorola as their Team Sponsor for the 10th edition of IPL which starts on 5 April 2017.

The squad comprises star players M. S. Dhoni, Steve Smith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and Faf Du Plessis, supplemented by other Indian and foreign talent.

Rising Pune Supergiant CEO Raghu Iyer said, “We are sure this association will be mutually beneficial for both companies."

Motorola Mobility India MD and Lenovo Mobile Group country head Sudhin Mathur, said “Rising Pune Supergiant and Motorola are a perfect fit. Both are challenger brands with a focus on breaking limitations to drive performance and innovation, as well as have a culture of being different for the sake of being better.”

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