Shane Warne to lead a Rajasthan Royals side built on a shoestring budget to win one of the most lucrative tournaments in the world
Warne, who had already retired from tests and one-day international cricket after claiming over 1,000 international wickets, was considered a spent force in the short, fast-paced format that heavily favoured the youngsters. 14 years have gone but no IPL champions ever had as dominant single season as Royals under Warne did, also the only team with not Star studded players but what he did was absolutely exceptional.
After a humbling season-opening loss to Delhi, Rajasthan won 11 of the next 13 games under Warne to top the table and qualify for the semi-finals, where they thrashed Delhi and set up a final with MS Dhoni’s Chennai. At the time, Dhoni was India’s darling after leading them to the T20 World Cup a year earlier and also the most expensive player in the IPL auction at $1.5 million.
“I don’t think there’s been too many better teams that I’ve played in during my career,” said Warne, who won a World Cup with Australia in 1999 and was a key member of the squad that won a record 16 tests in a row.