Rajasthan Royals to celebrate the life of Shane Warne in today's match

The legendary spinner will be remembered and his life is set to be celebrated ahead of Rajasthan Royals' match against the Mumbai Indians today

By Team KT

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Published: Sat 30 Apr 2022, 2:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Apr 2022, 2:23 PM

The Rajasthan Royals will be paying their tributes and celebrating the extraordinary life of their first captain Shane Warne, whose sudden demise at the age of just 52 sent shockwaves across the world.

Warne was one of the greatest cricketers of all time, who not only adored and embraced the IPL as an idea and as a tournament, but was also its biggest advocate.

It was Warne who helped the Rajasthan Royals script one of the greatest underdog triumphs of all time by leading the team to victory in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008.

The Australian legend led the Royals to victory in the 2008 final at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

The final match of that season was played on April 30.

Now today (30th of April, 2022), the Royals will face Mumbai Indians at the same venue, DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

"Based on the alignment with this momentous event, the franchise decided that there could not have been a better day and venue to celebrate the life and contribution of 'Warnie'," the Royals said.

Jason Warne, the late spinner's brother, will join the celebrations today and the team will be sporting special initials "SW23" on the leading collar of their official playing kits.

"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.

"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."

Royals captain Sanju Samson said Warne was a 'special' man on the eve of the occasion.

"He was a very special individual, a very special cricketer for every cricketer in the world and it was the same for me," Samson said in a video released by the Royals on Twitter.

Jos Buttler, whose breathtaking batting at the top-order has raised Royals hopes of a second IPL title this season, also paid a moving tribute to the late Australian.

"The belief he could instil in others, I think, was the biggest thing I took away," the England opening batsman said.

The Royals CEO, Jake Lush McCrum, said: "I think he would have been proud of the way our guys have played this year. He would have been proud of the way we have approached the game."

The Royals, showing tremendous verve and vigour, are currently in the second place on the points table with 12 points from eight matches.

"Players feel it like 'let's do it for Warnie this time," said Samson as the team attempt to win their second IPL title this season on the back of a terrific run.

"We are obviously playing something bigger than ourselves," said Buttler.

Yuzvendra Chahal, the Royals leg-spinner and the leading wicket-taker this season with 18 wickets, said the team are determined to give their all for the elusive trophy.

"If we win the IPL, the definitely, the trophy will be for him," Chahal said.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of the Rajasthan Royals, remembered how Warne was also a big supporter of mental health awareness campaigns.

Ranjit Barthakur (right), chairman of the Rajasthan Royals, with Shane Warne and Shyam Bhatia, Dubai's well-known cricketer promoter, at the latter's cricket museum in Dubai. (Supplied photo)
Ranjit Barthakur (right), chairman of the Rajasthan Royals, with Shane Warne and Shyam Bhatia, Dubai's well-known cricketer promoter, at the latter's cricket museum in Dubai. (Supplied photo)

"Warne joined us at Exploring Brain and Mental Health, a conference we organised in 2019, on a short notice. He was our first captain, you know. So I asked him if he could join us only one day before the event. And the thing is Shane Warne never said no. So he was there with us supporting a great cause," Barthakur recalled.

"The message that Warnie sent through that platform was that one should never be afraid of speaking up when it comes to mental health issues. He encouraged people to be open about it. He said if one person opens up about these issues, it will inspire other people to do the same. His message was so powerful."

As a mark of respect, among other dedicated tributes, a special area at the DY Patil Stadium has also been turned into a Shane Warne Tribute Gallery, which all the ticket-holding fans as well as the students of the DY Patil University will be able to visit and experience.

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