Shane Warne will return to the Rajasthan Royals teamahead of their 2018 Indian Premier League campaign under the role of “team mentor”.

At the competition’s inception in 2008 Warne became the first player for the Royals, and led them to the championship in that inaugural season.

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The Australian has mentored the team in the past, and is the team’s third highest wicket taker with 56 wickets.

Warne was quoted on the Royals’ website as saying:

I am very happy and excited to be back with the Rajasthan Royals, who I believe hold a very special place in my cricketing journey,

I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the franchise and fans of Rajasthan Royals. We have a strong, young and energetic bunch of boys, and I am looking forward to work with them.

On his team this year is current Australian captain Steve Smith, a man expected to be named Royals captain imminently.

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Team co-owner Manoj Badale said:

As we are looking to build a strong team that can be in contention for the title, we believe Warne is the right person to mentor the Rajasthan Royals,

Zubin (Bharucha, another mentor) has also contributed immensely to the growth of the team, and we are happy to have both back on board. We are excited and looking forward to a successful comeback.