Mentor Warne to stay back for KKR game

With chances of qualifying to the playoffs looking brighter, Rajasthan Royals, it is learnt, has asked Shane Warne to stay back for one more game. The Aussie, however, hopes to be back if the team makes it to playoffs.

Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane (right) with Shane Warne at a practice session at Holkar Stadium in Indore.   -  Vivek Bendre

A tweet by Shane Warne, a few hours before Rajasthan Royals' Indian Premier League fixture against Mumbai Indians on Sunday, had mentioned that it would be his last day of assignment as the mentor of Royals.

But with Jos Buttler changing the course of the match and keeping Royals alive for the playoffs, the team management has asked the Australian spin great to stay back for one more game, against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

"Awesome win from the @rajasthanroyals over the Mumbai Indians tonight. The boys are starting to peak at the right time and the owners have just cancelled my flight so I have 1 more game on Tuesday against KKR !!!!!!!" Warne wrote on Twitter, a few minutes after Sunday's game.

Before the beginning of the season, it was decided that Warne will be spending two stints of ten days as the mentor of the Royals. But now, with chances of qualifying to the playoffs looking brighter, the team management, it is learnt, has asked the Aussie to stay back for one more game. "Warne's presence has boosted the team a lot and at a time when the team is doing so well, the management thought that he (Warne) should stay back for one more game," a source close to the development, told Sportstar.

After a string of defeats, Rajasthan Royals has bounced back in style to stay at the fifth spot in the points table. And another big win could see the side making it to the playoffs--the first time since 2015.

But will Warne stay back if the team storms into the playoffs? The team sources, however, say that the management is yet to take a final call on that. The Australian, who has to rush back home for some family commitments--his daughter's birthday on Friday and his son's birthday on Monday--however, has indicated that he would 'be back' for the playoffs.

Working with the support staff, Warne, who had guided Royals to its lone IPL title in 2008, has brought about a change in the team structure and has backed the boys to the tilt. The results too are evident. From reeling at the bottom of the table, the Royals have fought back well to come close to a last-four spot.

Now, as the team heads to Kolkata for its crucial game against the KKR, it would be hoping to see off its star mentor on a winning note.

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