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Warne to lead Jaipur team

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2008 23:14 IST
Venkat Ananth
Venkat Ananth
Hindustan Times
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The Emerging Media-owned Jaipur IPL franchise is all set to announce Australian spin-wizard Shane Warne as their captain for the tournament. The decision to appoint Shane Warne as the skipper was confirmed by Fraser Castellino, the CEO of the franchise.

On Warne’s captaincy, Castellino said, “We will confirm his appointment on Wednesday. We are just going through a communication process within the team, where every player is consulted before we arrive at a final solution.”

The franchise has already set the communication ranks going, with South African captain Graeme Smith already becoming a part of the major think-tank. Mohammad Kaif and India’s twenty20 World Cup winning member Yusuf Pathan are also important members of the Jaipur strategem.

Castellino also clarified the confusion surrounding former Australian opener Justin Langer’s availability for the 2008 season. He said, “I don’t know why there is so much of misunderstanding regarding Langer. We always made it clear that he will not be available for the 2008 season and his contract begins only in the 2009. There is a reason behind buying him - we are eyeing a development role for him (possibly as player manager).”

Apart from the overseas signings, Castellino suggested that his team was scouting good Indian talent. Pankaj Singh, the lanky paceman from Rajasthan, has already signed up for the Jaipur franchise on Saturday.

There was a touch of controversy surrounding the franchise’s spending ways during the auction. Their total spendings for the auction was $2.9m, $40,000 short of the mandatory spending as laid out by the BCCI. They have to deposit this money to the IPL.

On this, Castellino defended his franchise by saying that, “We thought that $5m is the cap for the whole season. Since we had a definite strategy before we went into the auction room, we thought of spending only for the first half of the season and spend the rest later. But, Manoj (Badale) has agreed to follow the rules, but we thought we’d put in an appeal as it was mentioned in the IPL rulebook.”