IPL 2018: No Indian player could support me the way Shane Warne did, says Kamran Khan
Ex-Rajasthan Royals left-arm pacer heaps praise on Australian spin great, who returns as mentor of IPL side this year
RR skipper Shane Warne has a chat with pacer Kamran Khan during an IPL match v KKR in 2009. Pic/AFP
Australia spin great Shane Warne returned to Rajasthan Royals (RR) as team mentor 10 years after he famously led the side to the IPL title in the inaugural edition. Ex-RR pacer Kamran Khan, who became a household name after his match-winning super over against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 2009 edition, felt Warne's influence in the team was irreplaceable.
"I miss him everyday. I don't think any Indian player could have supported and encouraged me the way Warne did. I'm sure his return will help RR become champions once again," Kamran told mid-day over the phone from Noida yesterday. Kamran, 26, who played for RR in 2009 and 2010 IPL editions under Warne, heaped praise on the veteran Aussie's humility.
Warne's mantra worked
"He treated all players equally on the field and off it as well. He always used to tell me not to think about the result and give 100 per cent when I am bowling. His influence on me was immense and that increased my confidence," he said.
Recalling his super over experience against KKR, Kamran added: "We had top-class bowlers in our team like Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Munaf Patel and Warne himself, but he handed me the ball and told me to focus on my strengths. That showed the faith he had in me, an inexperienced bowler, which was the biggest opportunity for me to prove myself. "Whatever little I contributed was just because of Warne," said Kamran, who gave away 15 runs in the super over and dismissed Chris Gayle off the last ball, before RR's Yusuf Pathan chased down the target quite easily.
Hand it over to Warne
Warne was also instrumental in helping Kamran eliminate flaws in his bowling action after the Indian pacer's action went under the scanner in 2010. "Warne and RR officials organised my visit to a biomechanics laboratory in Perth so I could clear my bowling action. I will never forget the help rendered to me. "After my action was cleared, I played for U-25 Hyderabad in 2014," Kamran, who also plied his trade for defunct IPL side Pune Warriors in the 2011-12 season.