Rajasthan Royals will be paying their tributes and celebrating the extraordinary life of their first-ever Royal – Shane Warne, whose sudden demise, at the age of just 52, sent shockwaves across the world of sports and beyond.
Warne was one of the greatest cricketers of all time, who not only adored and embraced the IPL as an idea and as a tournament, but was also its biggest advocate. Back in 2008, during the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), it was the Australian legend who led the Rajasthan Royals to claim the first-ever IPL Trophy at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and the match on 30th April 2022, where the Royals face Mumbai Indians will also be played at the same venue.
Based on the alignment with this momentous event, the franchise decided that there could not have been a better day and venue to celebrate the life and contribution of ‘Warnie’, and also present to his fans around the globe, the opportunity to celebrate and remember the genius that was, Shane Warne.
It is befitting that the same stadium where Warne lifted the IPL trophy will see the cricketing world come together to pay their respects and celebrate his life. The franchise would like to iterate that it will not be an occasion to mourn, but to commemorate the great man, and salute him for his never-ending contribution to the game of cricket as well as impacting thousands of lives around the world through his words, energy, and actions both on and off the field.
The celebrations will be led by the franchise and will be supported by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and the official broadcaster Star Sports – and the Royals would like to acknowledge and thank them both for their continued support and wish to turn this day into a momentous occasion for everyone – including former, current and future players who have idolised Warne, learned from him and have had the privilege to play with or against him.
A special invitation was also sent to Warne’s family, and we are delighted that his brother, Jason Warne, will be flying down to Mumbai to join us in the celebrations. The Royals have also reached out to the Batch of 2008 and are appreciative of everyone who has sent in their tributes for the greatest leg-spinner of all time. These tributes will be made available on the matchday on Rajasthan Royals’ social media as well as Star Sports’ broadcast feed.
The Rajasthan Royals playing squad will be sporting special initials “SW23” on the leading collar of their official playing kits – paying tribute to the legend and carrying his presence with them throughout the match.
As a mark of respect, among other dedicated tributes, a special area at the DY Patil Stadium has also been turned into a Shane Warne Tribute Gallery, which all the ticket-holding fans as well as the students of the DY Patil University will be able to visit and experience.