Rajasthan Royals team management announced in a press release that team of RR will be paying tribute to Legendary Shane Warne in their upcoming match against Mumbai Indians at DY Patil Stadium on Saturday 30th  April 2022. Legendary leg-spinner passed away last month at the age of 52 due to a heart attack in a Thai restaurant in Koh Samui, Thailand. This news of his passing away came as a shock to the entire cricket fraternity. Before 12 hours of his death, he paid tribute to fellow Australian cricketer over Twitter, great Rod Marsh, who died after suffering a heart attack aged 74.

For Rajasthan Royals, Shane Warne has a special place because Royals lifted the inaugural IPL 2008 Trophy under his marvelous captaincy. RR were considered underdogs in that tournament as the team did not have many big names of international players, but spin-wizard used his players and skills to their best. Warne is often credited for launching players like Ravinder Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, and Ajinkya Rahane into the cricketing circuit by giving them constant support to unleash their true potential. In an interview Warne told that after losing their first match against Delhi Daredevils “all the young players were crying in the dressing room” and Warne told them that they still have 13 games left.

In that season, Rajasthan Royal’s team was treated by the media in the same way as the Indian Cricket Team was treated in the 1983 ODI World Cup under Kapil Dev’s captaincy. As it turns out, both times, respective captains proved cricket pundits wrong by lifting the cup. In 2008, Shane Warne truly optimized the manpower he had at hand and beat Chennai Super Kings in the final by successfully chasing down the target of 164 with three wickets left in shand. Shane Watson, Warne’s countrymate, contributed to the success of the team immensely and won the man of the tournament award for scoring 472 runs and taking 17 wickets. Another gem was a Pakistani bowler with unorthodox bowling action, Tanveer who bagged the purple cap for taking maximum wickets. Warne’s captaincy skills were praised not only by commentators but opposing teams as well.

Regarding his endeavors in IPL, Sachin Tendulkar once told that he was already a loved cricketer in India but winning the IPL trophy after retirement was like “icing on the cake”. Shane Warne was the “first royal” as RR published on their website and has been an inspiration for all the players of the Rajasthan Royal Family. Spin-wizard caught everyone’s attention in the 1993 Ashes series against England when he delivered ‘the ball of the century’ to completely bamboozle Mike Gatting. In his long career of two and half decades, he scalped 708 batsmen in test-cricket second to only Sri-Lankan spinner Murlidharan. He also has 293 wickets in his name in ODI International cricket.

Tribute to Aussie legend in 44th Match of IPL 2022 by Rajasthan Royals Team would also be 14th anniversary of their first and only IPL title. “It is befitting that the same stadium where Warne lifted the IPL trophy will see the cricketing world come together to pay their respects and celebrate his life,” the Royals said in a media release. The tribute by RR is more of a celebration of the life of Shane Warne and the way he inspired a whole new generation of cricketers. To make this point clear RR released in their press statement

 “The franchise would like to iterate that it will not be an occasion to mourn, but to commemorate the great man, and salute him for his never-ending contribution to the game of cricket as well as impacting thousands of lives around the world through his words, energy, and actions both on and off the field,”. After the first title, Rajasthan Royals as a team has been through ups and downs and apart from being runner-up in Champions League 2013, they have failed to leave a mark. However, in this edition of IPL, Rajasthan Royals seem to be in a rather serious mood from the very beginning. They have managed to win 6 matches out of the total 8 matches played so far. What is more intriguing is that both the Orange cap for maximum wickets and Purple cap for maximum runs are held by RR players, Chahal and Buttler respectively. Both the RR team and their fans would want the IPL trophy at the end of the tournament as a wholesome tribute to the spinner legend Shane Warne. On Saturday, RR players will show their love for Warne by wearing special kits with the initials ‘SW23’ written on them. A special Shane Warne Tribute Gallery will also be accessible to the fans at DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai, as per media reports.

Shrikant Chitlangya

Lawyer by profession and a cricket enthusiast by heart. Presently living in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Loves to play cricket as wicket-keeper batsman, talk about cricket and write about cricket in his free time....

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