Former Australian all-rounder and IPL veteran Shane Watson narrated his experience of playing in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. The Queensland-born former cricketer revealed there was a stand-off between captain-cum-coach Shane Warne and opener Graeme Smith on and off the field.
Shane Warne and Graeme Smith played integral roles in the Rajasthan Royals’ title win in 2008.
Warne took 19 wickets in 15 games at 14; however, he went wicketless in the final. Meanwhile, Smith amassed 449 runs in 11 matches at an average of 49, striking at 121.82.
Speaking in a clip uploaded to Delhi Capitals’ Twitter handle, Watson underlined that Warne and Smith had a mild stand-off. However, the 40-year old lauded the IPL for bringing world cricket together.
“At the Rajasthan Royals, Shane Warne, who was the captain and coach and Graeme Smith got picked up in the auction to play for the franchise. Shane Warne and Graeme Smith had an ongoing battle, on and off the field. In the end, the beauty of the IPL is it brought world cricket together.”
Watson, a two-time IPL winner, stated it was a special effort defeating the Chennai Super Kings in the final in a close game.
“The moment that stands out the most was winning the final at D.Y. Patil with Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir in facing the last couple of balls against CSK was really special.”
It’s worth noting Watson’s role in helping the Royals lift the trophy. The former Australian all-rounder earned the man of the tournament award for his 472 runs in 15 games and 17 scalps at 22.53. In the final, he scored a handy 19-ball 28.
“We didn’t quite know what the scale would be or how it’s going to be” – Ajit Agarkar
Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar, who represented the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2008, said they didn’t know how big the tournament would be. Agarkar revealed the circumstances around which he found out that he would play for Kolkata, stating:
“We played the 2007 World Cup which we had won in South Africa just before the IPL and then the auctions were going to happen. Obviously, we heard there is a league that is going to happen at some stage. But we didn’t quite know what the scale would be or how it’s going to be. So, it was quite unique to have everyone. I think auction day I remember I was playing a local game in Mumbai, so I didn’t know which team I had gone to till somebody came and told me okay, you’re going to be playing for KKR.”
44-year old Agarkar was the pick of the bowlers in the tournament opener against RCB. He took figures of 4-0-25-3 to demolish the opposition for 82.