Shane Warne, legendary former Australian leg-spinner, is probably the greatest captain to not have never led an International team. And, so when he was chosen to lead the Rajasthan Royals, world cricket realized what they had missed all these years.
Blessed with the ability to take bold decisions while at the same time having mismanagement acumen, where he just knew how to bring out the best from every player, Warne was a born leader. And, he showed that during the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League when he led a less fancied Rajasthan Royals outfit to the titular heist.
June 01 was the 12th anniversary of that miraculous and two of the members from that team- Mohammad Kaif and Yusuf- talked about the leadership of acumen of Shane Warne during an Instagram Live session.
Mohammad Kaif termed Warne as ‘ahead of his time’, saying that he was the one who started the concept of ‘horses for courses’.
“Shane Warne was ahead of his time. He started the concept of ‘horses for courses’ during IPL 2008. Warne got the best out of everyone. He had the quality of being flexible,” Kaif said.
“We had a lot of changes on our side. There was no batting position fixed for any player. Warne told me to talk to the Indian guys, who were a little weak in English. I did not take IPL 2008 very seriously as not many of us had played the format, but when we started winning, I thought that this product would go a long way as the families started enjoying the tournament,” Kaif further added.
“Every skipper in the world should look to learn from him”- Yousuf Pathan on Shane Warne
Yusuf Pathan, who played a crucial role in Rajasthan Royals winning that tournament, also went on to heap high praise on Shane Warne, adding that the way Warne made his players comfortable in his first team meeting and the manner in which he backed them throughout the tournament, it is something that every captain should learn from the Australian.
“I remember Warne took our team meeting. He was very positive. He told it does not matter that we lost in the first match, but he emphasised the need for showing team-spirit and giving our best. He motivated all of us by giving a rousing speech and then he went on to say that we will go on to win the tournament. Every skipper in the world should look to learn from him,” said Yousuf Pathan.
“Warne told us that the management will back every player. We went on to win our matches from thereon. Every player got the backing and appreciation after every match. We then made it to the finals. Whenever I go to Rajasthan, I feel like I have gone back to the time in 2008,” he added.
Rajasthan Royals went on to defeat Chennai Super Kings in the finals to become inaugural IPL champions.