IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday shared a video of its Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara’s moving tribute to former captain and cricket legend Shane Warne, who died aged 52 earlier this month. Warne was remembered in a state memorial service in Melbourne on Wednesday, with music superstars Elton John and Chris Martin performing by video link.
Shane Warne had captained and mentored the Rajasthan Royals team to the IPL title in the first season in 2008 and had been an integral part of the franchise since. “Thank you to him for being him; for being the king, for being Warnie,” was the caption that the Royals used along with Sangakkara’s video.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 30, 2022
“He was larger than life and he broke the mould. Never liked structure, never liked restrictions. He was just this person who gave all of himself in everything that he did on the field, off it, family, friends.
“I could talk about what he did on the field, in terms of his skill, in terms of his genius. How great his cricketing brain was. Tactically he was a genius. But it all pales in comparison to how he touched people when he interacted with them.
“He had a big heart that had room for everyone. He made people believe the impossible was possible. He believed he could do anything and he believed that if you were with him on the field in his company, you could do the same.
“He was larger than life, unique, authentic and original and he lived life to the fullest.”
“He lived life exactly the way he thought it should be lived and all of us, we loved him for it. It’s a tough time for all of us, those who knew him well. For his family and fans.”
“As he goes on his final journey I am sending him and his family all my love. Just appreciating the mark that he left in all our lives and the cricketing world in general.
“But most of all I want to say Thank you to him for being him; for being the king, for being Warnie,”
“God will bless you my friend and god will keep you,” said Sangakkara in an emotional tribute.
The larger-than-life “king of spin” was honoured at a two-hour service at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with more than 50,000 free tickets handed out. It was beamed live to cricket grounds across Australia and watched around the world.
“Looking forward to a future without Shane is inconceivable,” his heartbroken father Keith said after batting great Donald Bradman’s granddaughter Greta sang the national anthem to kick off proceedings.
“But we take comfort in knowing that Shane packed more into his life of 52 years, five months and 19 days than most people would in two lifetimes.”
Warne’s son Jackson said there was “no other better place in the whole world” to hold the memorial than the famous MCG where Warne made so many memories, including a hat-trick in an Ashes Test against England and taking his 700th Test wicket.
“It’s very special for a lot of us, especially our family,” he said.
A stand at the ground was officially re-named after Warne, who in the eyes of many is second only to Bradman in Australia’s long list of sporting greats.
(With AFP inputs)
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