Former Australia cricketer and legend, Shane Warne, has confirmed his return to the IPL 2018 franchise, Rajasthan Royals, as it’s mentor ahead of the 11th season of the Indian Premier League. The development has come as a great news for the Rajasthan team, as Shane Warne had led the side to it’s first IPL title in the inaugural season of 2008, after which the 48-year-old had retired post IPL 2011.
Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals’ 3rd highest wicket-taker
However, it is all smiles and laughter in the Rajasthan Royals franchise, as the formidable Australia cricketer, who is till date Rajasthan Royals’ third-highest wicket-taker with 58 wickets from 56 matches, has returned and refueled the side’s hunger to win the IPL 2018 trophy.
Shane Warne, who has previously mentored Rajasthan Royals for the IPL campaign, spoke about his return to IPL 2018, and the prospects for the team for the upcoming season. As reported by ESPN Cricinfo, Shane Warne said,
“I am very happy and excited to be back with the Rajasthan Royals, who I believe hold a very special place in my cricketing journey. I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the franchise and fans of Rajasthan Royals. We have a strong, young and energetic bunch of boys, and I am looking forward to work with them.”
Shane Warne to work in tandem with Australia captain Steve Smith in IPL 2018
While the former Australia captain, Shane Warne, has worked with India batsman Ajinkya Rahane in a few past IPL seasons, he will now be working with current Australia captain Steve Smith – who is also the top contender for Rajasthan Royals’ captain role in IPL 2018.
Shane Warne will be accompanied by Zubin Bharucha, who has also played key role for Rajasthan Royals pervious in IPL, and who has now taken over as head of cricket for the side in IPL 2018. Bharucha and Warne had worked together during the early IPL seasons of the Rajasthan Royals.
Naming Shane Warne the mentor, a way to give back to Rajasthan IPL fans
The co-owner of the Rajasthan team, Manoj Badale, said that to bring back Shane Warne was a way to give back to the fans of the IPL team, who Badale said, “have stood by us (Rajasthan Royals) in trying times.” Manoj Badale said,
“As we are looking to build a strong team that can be in contention for the title, we believe Warne is the right person to mentor the Rajasthan Royals. Zubin has also contributed immensely to the growth of the team, and we are happy to have both back on board. We are excited and looking forward to a successful comeback.”
According to the official website, Shane Warne will have a “multitude” of tasks, both on and off the field. A statement on the website delineated the Australian legend’s role for IPL 2018,
“His (Shane Warne) main role will be to work closely with the senior leaders in the team, particularly the captain, to ensure all areas of strategy and tactics are covered. In addition, he will be working with all the spinners to impart technical knowledge in the art of spin.”