Shane Warne winning inaugural IPL was like ‘icing on the cake’ of his career, says Sachin Tendulkar

Shane Warne led the Royals to their one and only IPL crown till date as he performed superbly both an captain and coach of the franchise. 

Shane Warne winning inaugural IPL was like ‘icing on the cake’ of his career, says Sachin Tendulkar
Shane Warne led the Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural Indian Premier League title. (Source: Twitter)

Australia legend Shane Warne had plenty of highs in his career which included finishing his Test career with 708 wickets. However, winning the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 with the Rajasthan Royals was definitely one of his career highlights even after retirement.

Warne led the Royals to their one and only IPL crown till date as he performed superbly both an captain and coach of the franchise. The genial Australia leg-spinner Warne was the second-highest wicket-taker for the Royals behind Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir – picking up 19 wickets in 15 matches, winning a record 13 games en route to the title.

The former Royals skipper relived that journey as part of the documentary on his life – ‘Shane’ which will be available for viewing to the Indian fans soon. “I was captain and coach of Rajasthan Royals, that was exciting,” Warne said about the stint in the documentary.

Royals teammate and former England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas added, “On paper we had the worst team – everyone knew it, the press knew it.”

The Royals, on cue, began with a massive nine-wicket loss to the Delhi Daredevils in their opening match of the IPL with Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan smashing them all around Ferozeshah Kotla. “No one gave us a chance, we had young kids who were 17-18 years of age who had played very little cricket; first game we were hammered by Delhi Daredevils and Virender Sehwag smashed us all around.

“I walk into the dressing room and there are players crying. I said, ‘Boys, have I missed something? Has someone died? We lost a cricket game, we still have 13 more games to go,’” Warne recalled.

The next match, Warne picked up 3/19 against the Kings XI Punjab in their first home game in Jaipur and the Royals didn’t look back after that. “In the first year of the IPL, I had never witnessed anything like the magician Warne,” Rajasthan Royals teammate and former England spinner Jeremy Snape said.

“Cricket is like a religion in India, for Shane Warne coming to IPL was like a messiah coming over and giving passionate supporter what they want,” former England captain Andrew Strauss said.

Warne believes the Rajasthan Royals’ ‘underdog’ story made the IPL. “Rajasthan Royals – underdogs to champions – to win against all those big name players, made the IPL,” he said.

Former Mumbai Indians and India captain Sachin Tendulkar feels winning the IPL was ‘icing’ on the cake for Warne. “Shane managed the team and strategized rather well. Winning the IPL was like icing on the cake for him because he was already a favourite in the eyes of the Indian fans,” Tendulkar said.

Warne over the course of the season unleashed the true potential of the likes of Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja and some unknown names like Kamran Khan and Swapnil Asnodkar and put them on the cricketing map.

(The documentary ‘Shane’ will be exclusively available on BookMyShow Stream from January 15th, 2022 for Indian fans)

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