Team: Rajasthan Royals
Captain: Shane Warne
Coach: Shane Warne
Franchisee: Emerging Media
Franchise Cost: $67 Million
Most expensive player: Mohammad Kaif – $675,000
The Pink City of Jaipur is represented by the Rajasthan Royals. At first glance, this team will appear as the underdog. But beware, it is the only team to have a player who will also coach the team. And it is none other than the spin wizard from Down Under – Shane Warne. Warne is also the only non-Indian cricketer to lead a side in the IPL.
The team may not have an Icon Player but it manages a roll call of some of the finest talent in cricket. India’s Mohammad Kaif and Munaf Patel will rub shoulders with the likes of Graeme Smith, Justin Langer and Younus Khan. Owned by the Emerging Media Group, the Royals will also field many of India’s young guns. The team logo has a lion citing the power of the Royals and the war horn which denotes a war cry. The team will reflect Rajput values of courage and valour.
Shane Warne (Captain/coach)
Kamran Akmal (wk)
Home Ground: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur has hosted a solitary Test match, in February 1987, when Pakistan President Gen Zia-ul-Haq hopped across the border to watch the second day’s play as part of his “Cricket for Peace” initiative. The game sputtered to a draw after the third day’s play was abandoned following heavy rain and a controversy over the alleged deposition of sawdust on the wicket which Pakistan objected to. Jaipur had made its international debut with an india-Pakistan ODI in 1983-84 and it also hosted World Cup matches in 1987 and 1996. But it seemed destined to be a one-Test wonder and a cricketing backwater until Lalith Modi took charge of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. There followed a major renovation programme which transformed a dull concrete bowl and also led to the establishment of an academy next to the ground. It was not coincidence that, with Modi at the helm, the ground hosted a number of matches in the 2006-07 Champions Trophy.