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EE EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation With The King of Spin—Shane Warne

At a recent event in the capital, Warne had a free flowing conversation with Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, where he spoke about his international cricketing days, his association with IPL and about his most admired sporting stars.

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Ace cricketer Shane Warne, who led Rajasthan Royal’s to their first and only title in 2018, will be seen in a new role this year as the brand ambassador of the team this year.

Warne, who captained Rajasthan Royal’s for four seasons continues to be force behind the spirit of the Royals who look all charged up for the upcoming IPL season.

At a recent event in the capital, Warne had a free flowing conversation with Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, where he spoke about his international cricketing days, his association with IPL and about his most admired sporting stars.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

After cricket, I hear, playing poker is what you would do professionally. So, if you hadn’t been a cricketer, would you have been a poker player?  The two games are very different; one is physically demanding and the other one is mentally demanding. Tell us how you developed interest for these games?

In the 70s, I and my brother used to play poker. We played these games just to pass time as we did not have playstations or x-boxes then. We used to play cards with our parents. My mother and brother used to be one team and me and my dad one team. So playing these games was a family tradition.

I retired from international cricket in 2007, but I still play poker. After retirement, I travelled to several places, such as New York, Budapest, Vienna or Venice, which I couldn’t go as a cricketer. It’s been very exciting.

Coming to IPL, we always try to be a step ahead of the opposition teams. In IPL, every franchise is special and extremely good. So what is going to set Royals apart from rest of the teams is the vibrant & young talent. We support young talent.

In a match against New Zealand in 2001-02, you had scored your career’s best and were caught off the bowling of Daniel Vettori. But apparently it was a no ball. Was there grief, regret or anger? How do you handle such miscalculations as a player?

In life, all of us have disappointments in whatever we do; whether it’s business or sports. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t change whatever happened five minutes ago or in the past. So try to learn from the things that have happened in the past because you can’t change them.

You have seen different roles in life as a cricketer, poker player, entrepreneur, commentator and also a father. Which is the most important role for you?

I think being a nice father to my children is the most important role. It’s actually not easy. Being a single parent is very difficult. But it is very enjoyable and rewarding too. I have always been blessed in my life as I have got opportunities to work with Royals and different companies and sponsorships.

Finally, if you have to compare between Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, who do you think is a better player?

 They're both terrific players like anyone in any era.  They will always be great players. I've been trying to think about do I believe that Virat Kohli is the best one-day International player ever. That's the question I'm asking myself. So I think in Test Cricket at the moment, I would say the Viv Richards was the best player I saw.  Tendulkar was the best to eyeball I had bowled to. So where Virat Kohli stands I am still thinking about it. But at the moment he's got to be very very close to challenge Viv Richards as the greatest one day batsman of all time. To me, it is either Virat Kohli or Viv Richards. Both are the best one day player of all time. I can't figure out who's the best yet. And the rest, probably Sachin and Brian Lara the upcoming the equal sides around now. It still it's not an easy question to answer but I think Virat is definitely the best one day player I've seen since Viv Richards.”


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Shane Warne rajasthan royals Dr. Annurag Batra

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