- admin | March 5, 2022 | 1:16 am
The sudden demise of legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne (52), who passed away in Thailand on Friday following a suspected heart attack, has left the cricket fraternity in Rajasthan in shock. Captaining a young Rajasthan Royals team to title triumph in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Warne shared a special bond with the desert state. After mentoring the franchise in the subsequent seasons of IPL, the master craftsman was again appointed as the mentor of Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2020 IPL season, alongside his role as the team’s brand ambassador.
“On my dual role, it’s always a great feeling to be back with Royals, my team, my family. It’s exciting to be working across all elements of this franchise that I love,” Warne had said then. Former Rajasthan wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik, who had played for Rajasthan Royals under Warne’s leadership, said, “I still cannot believe that he is no longer in this world. With his help, I understood many aspects of not just cricket, but also life. “Warne used to guide us not only as captain but also like an elder brother. He clearly said that practice for two hours, but do it like it is for seven hours.
Similarly, he always wanted to do whatever was needed to be done within the three hours of the match, as if these three hours of your life are most important for you.” A key aspect of Warne’s leadership was to bring the group closer than ever imagined possible. It is easier done nowadays, with team-building techniques and bio-bubbles, and decades-long histories. Remember, that was the first-ever IPL season and everything was new – from the ideas to coaching methods to the fact that someone of Warne’s stature was your captain and playing alongside you.
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There is an incident illustrated in his book No Spin where Warne talked about how Mohammed Kaif got the same-sized room as junior players, despite his stature as an Indian international. Or, how he rectified Jadeja’s ill-discipline, a key pillar in making him the cricketer he is today. “I spoke to the team management and we did away with the compulsory training sessions. We only had optional training sessions that season, and I found that the players trained harder when they attended those sessions. And the impact could be seen on the field,” Warne also revealed, in a documentary video released by the franchise.
Bimal R. Soni, former manager of the Indian cricket team and ex-deputy president of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), told IANS, “Warne was a legend. His contributions to Rajasthan Royals and Rajasthan cricket are unmatchable. We feel it is a great loss because he was a mentor to Rajasthan Royals as well. “I used to interact a lot with him and he used to always talk about spinners. Imagine, he was a spinner from Australia where one doesn’t normally get spinning pitches as we do in India. So he would always discuss his craft, comparing it to the master spinners from India.”
Former India fast bowler Pankaj Singh, who served Rajasthan cricket for a long, said, “It is very sad news and a big loss for the cricket world. The world is going to miss him. The way he taught and groomed young players was unmatched. May his soul rest in peace.” Speaking about his experience of playing under him, Singh said, “He used to always give more than 100 percent both on and off the ground. He used to live every moment of life and always said that ‘try to give 1 percent extra on the ground, as only this extra push will give you the results.