Rajasthan Royals owner Manoj Badale paid his heartfelt tribute to Shane Warne, who led the franchise to their maiden IPL title in 2008.
Paying tributes to their IPL-winning captain Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals' lead owner Manoj Badale said the franchise will ensure the legendary spinner is never forgotten.
On Friday, Warne died of a suspected heart attack while staying in a villa at Koh Samui Island in Thailand. Warne's sudden demise, hours after another Australian great, wicketkeeper-batter Rodney Marsh had died, has left the cricketing world in a state of mourning.
"Everyone associated with the Rajasthan Royals is still shocked and devastated. Our first thoughts are for his family, who he cherished so dearly. We will ensure that he is never forgotten and that his millions of fans in India get an opportunity to pay their respects," said Badale.
Warne had led the Royals to IPL title victory in the inaugural season in 2008.
What he meant to the Royals family. pic.twitter.com/XkiKVjVuAT— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 5, 2022
"Shane (Warne) was the first Royal. Our first captain. Our first family member. And our first champion. He provided so many memories on and off the pitch. He shaped the values of the RR franchise. He co-created the Royals. And he helped transform the story of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"He positively impacted the careers of so many - launching Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane, re-energising the careers of Shane Watson and Jos Buttler, working with Rahul Dravid and Graeme Smith, and helping so many young cricketers play at, and often, above their potential. This was his unique 'gift'," he said.
"He leaves an astonishing legacy. Wonderful memories shared with family and friends, who have been so impacted by him. A wonderful charitable foundation that has changed the lives of thousands of kids. And the title of 'the greatest-ever leg-spinner' in the second most popular sport in the world. He inspired us all with his humour and passion for life."
"He was a legend in cricket. A legend in India. A legend across the world. But most of all, he was a kind, generous, loyal and inspirational friend. We will miss him every day," added the Rajasthan Royals' lead owner.