The Royals, who won the inaugural IPL title under Warne, flashed Warne’s shirt number ‘SW23’ on their collar during the match against Mumbai Indians at DY Patil Stadium.
The spin legend’s death from a suspected heart attack at the age of 52 on March 4 has shocked the cricketing world, with the Royals saying he “made us believe”.
Players from both teams lined up with the referees at the start of the game for a minute’s applause to celebrate Warne’s illustrious career – the ‘first Royal’ as the team calls him.
In memory of the first Royal 🙌#RR dedicate this match to its first captain – Shane Warne #TATAIPL |… https://t.co/gi5I7Mdtm9
– IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1651328051000
The Royals’ victory in 2008 not only lit up the Twenty20 tournament but also turned several rookie Indian cricketers including Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan into household names.
The Royals, now led by Sanju Samson, failed to win for the next 13 seasons and paid a moving tribute to the spin legend as players including Jos Buttler entered the stadium clapping their hands a life-size photo of Warne.
Forever with us, forever our First Royal – this one is #ForWarnie. Thanks for everything, legend. 💗 https://t.co/sMKFjvU8V0
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1651326354000
Buttler, who leads the tournament batting chart with 566 runs including three centuries, then raised his collar en route to his 67 as large banners including “this one’s for you Warnie” hung from stadium balconies.
The Royals beat the Chennai Super Kings at the same venue on June 1, 2008 and set the stage for the league to become one of the most popular and valuable tournaments in the sport.
Warne, who revived the art of the leg-spin and took 708 Test wickets during his glittering but controversial career, has often been called ‘the best captain Australia has ever had’.
He was captain of the Australian state of Victoria and the English county of Hampshire.
You Can Read Also