Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be paying a heartfelt tribute to their first Royal and captain Shane Warne, by donning jerseys with ‘SW23’ on their collars when they clash with Mumbai Indians (MI) in their IPL 2022 match on April 30 at the DY Patil Stadium.
Shane Warne was RR captain when they won their first and only IPL title in 2008. Warne continued to play the role of coach and captain until IPL 2011 when he retired from the game and was then associated with the franchise as their mentor.
The tribute is timed to coincide with the team's triumph exactly 14 years back.
Unfortunately, Warne passed away at the age of 52 on March 4 in the Thailand island resort of Koh Samui and received a state funeral from Victoria state and a stand in the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was named after him.
Showcasing the jerseys on social media, Rajasthan Royals players were seen with a special “SW23” on their collars. A special area at the DY Patil Stadium, the venue for RR vs MI, has been turned into a Warne Tribute Gallery, which all the ticket-holding fans will be able to visit and experience.
Meanwhile, the RR players paid rich tribute to the cricketing legend and one of them was team manager Romi Bhinder, who revealed that Jos Buttler high-fived a photo of Shane Warne in the dressing room and called him ‘legend’.
"We have put up a picture of him where his hand is overstretched. A few days ago, I saw Jos giving him a high-five and saying, 'legend'!". There are small things like this where the team feels his presence,” Bhinder said in a video shared by RR.
Sanju Samson also paid his tribute to Warne, calling him a “special individual.” He said: “I think he was a very special individual, a very special cricketer for almost every cricketer in the world and it was the same for me.”
Buttler, meanwhile, said, “The belief he could instill in others is the biggest thing I took away him. He made you feel 10 feet tall when you were around him.”
RR’s new recruit Yuzvendra Chahal also had something to say: “I got my first hat-trick when I came here, so I think his wishes have, and will stay with me.