Australian spin legend Shane Warne is returning to the Rajasthan Royals, the IPL side he captained to victory, as a mentor for the upcoming season in the United Arab Emirates, the club said Sunday.
Warne — who was the Royals skipper when they clinched the Indian Premier League cup in its inaugural edition in 2008 — will join the team in the UAE and also represent the club as its ambassador.
“It’s always a great feeling to be back with Royals, my team, my family. It’s exciting to be working across all elements of this franchise that I love,” Warne said in a statement.
“Hopefully, we can have a successful season and achieve big things in the coming months.”
IPL teams often keep retired players on as coaches and mentors to help motivate younger and senior members in the dug-out.
Warne, who took 56 wickets in his 52 games with the Royals, will link up with fellow Australian and head coach Andrew McDonald, who was his teammate at Victoria from 2003-07.
Warne, regarded as one of the greatest leg-spinners in the history of cricket, picked up 708 wickets in 145 Tests during his 15-year international career.
The world’s richest cricket league will be played outside India for the third time after being held in South Africa in 2009 and the UAE in 2014 because it clashed with the national elections.
The virus-delayed tournament will start on September 19 in the UAE, and draw stars ranging from England’s Jos Buttler to Australians Steve Smith and David Warner.