Rajasthan Royals (RR) co-owner Manoj Badale has defended the absence of legendary Shane Warne during the playoff matches in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Meanwhile, Rajasthan lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the eliminator to bow out from the lucrative Twenty20 league. They came back in the latter half of the tournament to win back-to-back games before making it to the playoffs.
However, among all these, there has been a raised speculation on Warne’s return to his country midway into the tournament.
The Rajasthan mentor set a new trend when he returned to Australia twice during the tournament – he returned once while did not turn up for the Eliminator.
First, he went back for a 10-day off during the second and third week of IPL to be with his family. The second occasion came just before playoffs when he wanted to be with his children owing to the birthday bash.
However, he was due to return for the final but his franchise failed to make it.
Royals defend mentor Warne:
Badale feels the loss of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes made all the difference. Buttler single-handed took the team closer to the playoffs with his clean striking.
Talking about Warne, he mentioned that his early leaving made no difference.
Further, he congratulated the team for putting up a good show in the second half of the league.
“I think that towards the end of the tournament much of the coaching and mentoring work is done – it is about individual players taking responsibility and performing. Our performance was definitely impacted by the forced absence of some of our international players, but we still showed that we could have won – this tournament is all about small margins!,” Badle he told Mirror.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan roped in Warne on a weekly basis and provide service weekly.
However, he had an eye on all games and expressed his feeling on social media.
Badale, though, cleared that Shane Warne was never supposed to be there at the time of playoffs with Rajasthan Royals.
“Warnie was never planning to be there for the playoffs – his role involved two two-week visits to do specific work with the team. I know he was watching every ball, which is why he was tweeting so much!” he added.
The Royals, however, finished on the fourth place in the points table. They made a good return to the league after two years and will look to come back strong in the next edition.