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Getting a doll and carrying it too

Within the Rajasthan Royals camp, Shane Warne is known for being a cool skipper. And as young local youngsters Ashok Menaria and Dishant Yagnik say, every player love him and his methods. He mingles with everyone, has given funny nicknames to all, and makes sure everyone is kept involved. Khurram Habib repoprts.

cricket Updated: May 02, 2011 00:51 IST
Khurram Habib

Within the Rajasthan Royals camp, Shane Warne is known for being a cool skipper. And as young local youngsters Ashok Menaria and Dishant Yagnik say, every player love him and his methods. He mingles with everyone, has given funny nicknames to all, and makes sure everyone is kept involved.

Along with Jeremy Snape, the performance coach, Warne devises ways to keep the atmosphere healthy. It even includes finding less harsh ways to punish players.

To maintain discipline, Warne, who’s the captain and coach, has devised the 'pinky the doll' concept. Anyone who is found guilty of indiscipline, is given a pink doll, and is made to carry it the entire day; in the hotel lobby, for team lunches, team meetings and even during the nets.

It doesn't just end there. The player is mocked at by his teammates who are told to tease him and refer to him as 'pinky the doll'.

“Since it is a long tournament, such things make sure that the spirit stays lively. The idea is to make sure that everyone stays at the same level. There should be no difference due to experience and profile. Shane wants no junior player to be overawed by big international stars,” said a team member.

So, it wasn't a surprise to see South African Twenty20 skipper Johan Botha carry the doll with him. “Apparently, he had committed a minor breach and everyone was asked to tease him,” said the member.

Australian paceman Shaun Tait is another player who has had to carry the doll.

There was no information whether the colourful Shane Warne himself has had to carry his symbol of punishment!