“I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the franchise and fans." - Shane Warne. © AFP

“I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the franchise and fans.” – Shane Warne. © AFP

Shane Warne, who led Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural Indian Premier League title in 2008, is back with the franchise ahead of IPL 2018, having joined them as the team mentor.

The franchise made the announcement on their website on Tuesday (February 13). Warne will link up with Zubin Bharucha, who will return as the head of cricket in the franchise’s comeback season after serving out a two-year suspension.

“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,” Warne told the website. “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.”

In the inaugural season, Warne took a young and unfancied side all the way to the title, and remained skipper of Rajasthan for the next three seasons before calling it quits at the conclusion of IPL 2011. In all, he finished with 58 wickets from 56 matches for Rajasthan.

The website added that the franchise management ‘wanted to recreate some nostalgia, and with it bring along a level of expertise which only a handful of individuals around the world possess’.