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No place for No. 23 on the ground

cricket Updated: May 11, 2011 02:07 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Shane Warne's final game at the home of the Rajasthan Royals is creating a lot of excitement. The Royals wanted to give their skipper a grand farewell for Wednesday's game against Bangalore Royal Challengers.

The team had planned to get the grass on the outfield cut to the shape of his jersey number 23 and deck the stadium with banners. “There is another big surprise which we can't tell you since we don't know whether we'll be able to pull it off,” said a Rajasthan Royals official in the morning. Alas, their fears came true as the plan hit a snag. An IMG official told HT that the whole plan will not materialise since the stadium cannot be tampered with.

“You cannot put anything in honour of anyone along with the logos of the sponsors who have put their money into the game. It goes against the Indian Premier League and the BCCI policy. You can do it but then the ground staff will be docked points.”

It is understandable. Since a lot of money of the sponsors is at stake, they wouldn't want anything to take the attention away from their logos. Nonetheless, when Shane Warne takes the field, he will at least get a standing ovation. Despite being an Aussie, he is the most revered cricketer in the city.

However, there is one concern for the organisers, whether they'll be able to get a packed stadium. For now, it looks unlikely. Even the presence of MS Dhoni couldn't guarantee that the other day. Sawai Mansingh stadium was filled to the brim for only one game -- and that is when Sachin Tendulkar walked on to the ground on April 29.