‘Wear it with pride for Warnie’ – RR coach Kumar Sangakkara delivered emotional speech ahead of season opener

Kumar Sangakkara. (Photo Source: Rajasthan Royals)

Australian spin legend Shane Warne passed away on March 4 due to a suspected heart attack aged 52. He was found dead in his hotel room in Thailand where he was holidaying with his friends. Lately, his first-ever IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals have come out to pay a heartwarming tribute to the late cricketer, and the instructions were given by the head coach and Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara. This unique gesture was offered before RR’s season opener against SRH.

It is to be noted that Warne was RR’s first captain and had also led them to their first and only IPL triumph in the inaugural edition in 2008 where the Royals had got the better of MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in a final-over thriller. After his retirement as a player, Warne was also associated with the RR franchise as their mentor and ambassador.

Shane Warne was  unique: Kumar Sangakkara

“Alright guys attention on the screen please”, said Kumar Sangakkara as he started his speech and the video montage played in the memory of Shane Warne which was watched by all the players as well as the members of the support staff.

“Everyone would have had different interactions with Warnie. I have known him for a very long time. He was unique as every one of you are. We have seven debutants today who are playing, we have many more who are new. So when you take this cap today and wear it, you are not just living the memories and showing gratitude and honoring Warnie and the Royals, you are also honouring the fact that you guys are unique”, said Sangakkara in a video posted by the Rajasthan Royals on their official Twitter handle.

“So don’t be afraid to be authentic, not in terms of skills but in terms of you are with this franchise. Your initials are here. All the guys who are playing today, who are new to the Royals pick up your cap, and when you wear it, wear it with pride-for Warnie, for the franchise but more importantly for yourself”, he added.

On March 30, the Shane Warne stand was officially unveiled at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the loving memory of the 1999 World Cup winner. Not only was this Warne’s home ground, but he had also registered his 700th Test scalp at the very same venue in December 2006, castling England opener Andrew Strauss with a dream delivery that left him bamboozled completely.

Just weeks before his untimely demise, Warne had also thrown in his hat for the post of England men’s cricket team head coach.

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