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Shane Warne and Rajasthan Royals: It was always discipline first | Cricket News – Times of India

JAIPUR: Legendary spinner Shane Warne, who passed away on Friday, had many feathers in his cap, including the one that underscores his vibrant and strong connection with the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.

The flamboyant Aussie‘s magical prowess as the captain saw the underdogs Royals win the inaugural edition of the T20 league in 2008 and that remains one of the most iconic memories of the IPL.

While the leg-spinner led the Jaipur-based franchise for four years, his association with the team continued till 2020 when he was reappointed by the Royals as their mentor and brand ambassador for the season.
When it came to cricket, he was unapologetically obsessed with discipline, say players who have worked under him.
“He placed discipline on top of everything. Outside the competitive arena of cricket he was a very jovial and fun-loving character, but when it came to cricket, he never compromised on anything. He had set the standards very high and this is the reason why a team which was full of youngsters won the first edition of the IPL. No one thought we could win. He was a legend in every sense of the word. He will be missed,” said former Rajasthan captain Pankaj Singh, who was a part of the title-winning Royals team.

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The Aussie great injected the culture of discipline and to ensure everyone toed the line, he introduced a unique way of punishing those who failed to adhere to the rules. Players were made to hold a pink doll, literally everywhere.
“He did things in his own unique way and the pink doll was one of them. If you have failed to reach on time for training or you were late to board the team bus or any other failure on the discipline part invited punishment in the form of holding a pink doll. A player had to hold it at the airport, at the ground and literally everywhere. It was really embarrassing. But this helped the team become particular about following the rules. Warne made all of us disciplined,” recalled Rajasthan captain Ashok Menaria, who played under the leg-spinner during his days with the Royals between 2011 and 2013.

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Recalling his experience with the spin great, the franchise’s fielding coach and former Rajasthan captain Dishant Yagnik said, “He was the most smart and tactical captain I have ever seen. His sixth sense was also so strong. He knew exactly how to make players perform. While he was the most chilled-out person outside the field, he was very strict when it came to cricket. He never compromised on anything when it came to the team’s performance.”

SHANE WARNE


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