IPL 2018: ‘First Royal’ Shane Warne checks in

Warne — who is the team’s mentor in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — was back with Rajasthan Royals (RR) after seven years.

Shane Warne (above) admitted that he would be working closely with Zubin Bharucha to ensure that the team returns to the IPL bandwagon with a bang.   -  PTI

As Shane Warne walked out of the Sanganer International Airport in Jaipur on Thursday morning, a group of youngsters chanted his name. There were banners, welcoming ‘the first Royal’ home. A rather emotional Warne put out the picture on his social media accounts, making it clear that he was impressed by the warm welcome.

After all, Warne — who is the team’s mentor in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — was back with Rajasthan Royals (RR) after seven years.

The fanfare continued, even as he reached the team hotel, where the Royals launched its new jersey for the season, in presence of its co-owner, Manoj Badale.

Once the promotional events were over, Warne made it a point to discuss a thing or two with the Royals’ cricket director, Zubin Bharucha, and the skipper Ajinkya Rahane. “We have a strong squad. The guys have been putting great efforts and I can already see that they have pretty much,” Warne said.

Shane Warne arrives at the Rajasthan Royals team hotel in Jaipur on Thursday.   -  Rajasthan Royals

 

Even though he is yet to interact with the entire team, Warne admitted that he would be working closely with Bharucha to ensure that the team returns to the IPL bandwagon with a bang. “I am excited to be around such energetic young guys and I am looking forward to a great season,” the Australian, who incidentally, had guided Royals to its first IPL title in 2008, said.

Even the team management was excited about the old Royal’s return. “We have been able to retain most of the old side. It is going to be an exciting season,” team’s co-owner Badale said.

While Warne is looking forward to some exciting times with the franchise, which returns to IPL after two years, there is still not enough clarity whether the Aussie mentor would be available throughout the tournament.

However, that’s for later. For the moment, with its first captain checking in, the Royals’ den already is full of Halla Bol!

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