Shane Warne played in the IPL for three seasons with Rajasthan Royals and led them to the victory in the inaugural season, defeating Chennai Super Kings in the finals at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai in 2008.
In his much-acclaimed autobiography “No Spin”, Warne shares some highly funny anecdotes about his time with the Royals. He specified an incident with Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, which shows the difference between Indian and the Australian sporting cultures.
Warne writes that when the whole Rajasthan Royals team got to the hotel, everyone got their keys and disappeared in their rooms. However, Kaif appeared at the concierge desk and said: “I am Kaif”. On being asked by the hotel staff what kind of help he required, Kaif continued saying the same thing.
Warne then came to the hotel staff’s help and asked Kaif what did he want, and found out that Kaif meant to say that he was an international Indian player and wanted a bigger room. Warne then explained to him that everyone got the same type of room, apart from Warne, as he was the captain and had held meetings all the time.
Warne then wrote: "We realized that the senior Indians expected preferential treatment and youngsters were like, you know, 'pick my bag!'. So, I figured that I had to gain the respect of the whole squad of 50 by quickly laying down exactly the same ground rules for everyone."
Warne said that he was a fan of Munaf Patel’s sense of humor and his big heart. Warne recollects a bus ride with Munaf in which he asked him his age.
Munaf replied, "Skipper, do you want real age or IPL age as others would ask?" On being prodded more, Munaf finally revealed, much to Warne’s amusement, "I am 24 but if my real age was 34, I would still tell you my IPL age was 24 because this is a good gig and I very much wanted to play. If I am 34, no one picks me. If I am 28, people think I have a few good years left......I'm going to stay in my 20s for a long time to come."
Ravindra Jadeja first came under spotlight playing for Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals and was nicknamed Rockstar by him.
According to Warne, "We loved him (Jadeja) from the minute we saw his approach and enthusiasm. There was a bit of 'boy wonder' in him so we gave him a longer leash than most, but his lack of discipline was a problem because it sometimes led the younger guys down the wrong path."
"We let a few things go but I cannot stand anyone who is late for anything. And Ravi Jadeja was always late. The first time, there was a bit of confusion with bags and stuff, so I let it slide. The second time, no good -- the bus left at 9 am for training and he wasn't on it. So he had to make his own way to the ground and of course was late again,” Warne writes.
"On the way back after training, I stopped the bus halfway to the hotel and said, 'guys, we had someone late again this morning. Ravi, mate, Get off here and walk home.' One of his mates made a fuss and I told him to get off too and told them to walk back together. No one was late after that.” Warne further writes.