Shane Warne was an incredible leader, he believed in the players, knew their skills: Shane Watson

Delhi Capitals assistant manager and former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson said the late Shane Warne was an incredible leader who knew how to assess and bring out the best version of a player. Afghan star Rashid Khan revealed he too had dreams of working under the tutelage of the legendary crackpot who recently passed away.

Warne, who played 55 games for the Rajasthan Royals between 2008 and 2011, led the side to their only IPL title in the inaugural edition.

“What struck me was that Rajasthan was written off because we didn’t have big names compared to the other teams. The advantage that Rajasthan had was the ability to bring the team together very quickly,” Watson said during a Delhi Capitals virtual press conference.

“Shane Warne’s incredible ability was to see people’s roles and then go into that role. To me, he was an incredible leader because he knew how to use the best version of a player.

“He believed in the players, knew their skills and their role. For me that was the reason why Rajasthan did so well in the first season. He pulled all of these from different cultures and different stages of their careers and led them from scratch.”

Warne, who is credited with reviving the art of leg-spin bowling and winning 708 wickets in 145 Tests over an illustrious 15-year career, died March 4 in Koh Samui, Thailand, of a suspected heart attack.

Afghan leg spinner Rashid Khan, who was shocked by the news of Warne’s death along with the rest of the cricket fraternity, shared memories of the time he had with the legend during a session at the MCG.

”It was a huge shock. I had a great time with him. It was a great honor for me that he called me to the MCG to have this 15-minute session with him during the lunch break (break) of the Australia-New Zealand game,” Rashid said in a virtual press conference.

“I was so lucky, I learned so much from him. We had a discussion about how I can be more effective in a long format. He was happy to share his experiences with me.

“He shared those key points, the mindset and the skills.” Rashid revealed Warne had advised him to stick with his “unique” action and be more patient and work on his consistency.

“The only thing he said was you don’t have to change your speed or action, that’s something unique, you just have to be consistent, have to be more patient. Sometimes you don’t get a wicket, but that’s when you’re tested mentally as well as physically. You have to pass for these big games.”

“I was looking forward to having him as a head coach and playing with him and spending more time with him. That was a dream. We discussed that. He said that hopefully we’ll be able to attend a hundred ball competition in the UK,” Rashid added.

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