Warne returns to Royals, but only for a short stint

The Australian spin legend will be with Rajasthan Royals for ‘two stints of 10 days’.

Shane Warne will “add a huge amount to the set-up,” according to Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale.   -  PTI

Shane Warne’s return to the Rajasthan Royals is special. After all, against the odds, the Australian spin legend had led the Jaipur-based franchise to its one and only IPL title win in 2008. So even as nostalgia creeps in with Royals returning to the IPL fold after two years, its star mentor will not be available for the entire tournament.

“Currently, he will be with us for two stints of 10 days during the tournament,” Rajasthan Royals co-owner, Manoj Badale, told Sportstar on Friday.

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After joining the camp in Jaipur on Thursday, Warne has made it a point to interact with the Royals cricketers and motivate them to deliver the goods. “Warne is a legend of the game and his contribution to creating the culture at the Rajasthan Royals is significant. He will add a huge amount to the set up — as a mentor to Zubin (Bharucha), our director of cricket — and as an advisor to Ajinkya Rahane, who is captaining an IPL side for a full season for the first time,” Badale said.

‘Great sounding board’

The Royals boss admitted that Warne’s presence will help the young tweaks as well. “He will also be great for our young spin bowlers, and a great sounding board for many of the relatively IPL inexperienced internationals,” he added.

During his previous stint with Rajasthan Royals, which lasted for four years, Warne had introduced quite a few player-engagement activities, and Badale sounded confident that it could be similar this time too. “I am sure he will also add a bit of fun to the camp,” he said.

Rajasthan Royals will start its campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.