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Yuvraj's absence, a great hurdle for Pune Warriors

With dashing Yuvraj Singh ruled out of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sahara Pune Warriors may not have much problem as to who will lead the side. In that case, player-cum-mentor Sourav Ganguly will don the mantle of skipper. But they will have serious difficulty in filling the void of a match-winner, particularly in the middle-order.


Sourav Ganguly is likely to lead the side in Yuvraj's absence

"Ganguly is the mentor of the side and there cannot be a better replacement than him when we are not getting the services of Yuvraj for the entire IPL," a source in Pune Warriors told MiD DAY yesterday.

The captaincy issue will also be discussed with Ganguly since the franchise is without a head coach after Australian Geoff Marsh quit. The support staff of the Pune Warriors -- Ganguly (mentor), Allan Donald (bowling coach), Paddy Upton (mental and conditioning coach) and Praveen Amre (batting coach) -- don't have a head coach till date. "We may request Ganguly to lead the side, but it will largely depend on him whether he would agree to be the skipper, besides being the mentor," the source added.

Now, the real problem for the Warriors is they have a purse of $1.6 million to splurge during the IPL Players' Auction to be held in Bangalore on Saturday after they retained Ganguly for a base price of $400,000. The apt replacement would have been former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, but his base price is $300,000. "We still haven't decided on who will replace Yuvraj," the source said.

Jayawardene will be available for auction after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had terminated his franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala's contract in last September citing "irreparable differences" between the franchise and the Board.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that bowling coach Donald paid a short visit to India for a discussion with the Warriors management. "He will again be back when we start a bowling camp shortly," the source revealed.

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