Warne to coach IPL's Rajasthan Royals

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shanewarne1.jpg' class='caption'> Australian spin legend Shane Warne was on Wednesday named as coach and captain of Jaipur's Indian Premier League (IPL) team

Updated: February 27, 2008 14:58 IST
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New Delhi/Chennai:

Australian spin legend Shane Warne was on Wednesday named as coach and captain of Jaipur's Indian Premier League (IPL) team, which has been christened Rajasthan Royals, while the Chennai franchise, known as the Chennai Super Kings, announced that Kepler Wessels would be their coach.

"Shane Warne's extraordinary achievements on and off the field, combined with his unique understanding of the game, has made him a living sporting legend, leading to the strategic appointment as captain and coach of the Rajasthan Royals," franchise owner Emerging media said in a statement.

"It is this leadership and experience that will develop the success and spirit of the Rajasthan Royals. All the players will look upto and Shane's commitment and astute cricketing brain," said Emerging Media CEO Fraser Castellino.

"Shane has been a winner throughout his career and has made it clear that he is coming to India to make the Rajasthan Royals win. His experience of over 15 years in international cricket will be invaluable to a team of players from different countries, cultures, and ages."

Castellino said his team will have a strong support staff which will include former Indian team physiotherapist John Gloster, a Director of Coaching and a team manager.

Warne, who retired from cricket after last year's Ashes series, had been Test cricket's highest wicket taker before Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan overtook him.

He has been captain of English county side Hampshire since 2004. Warne said he was looking forward to lead the side and build a winning team.

"Our main goal is to build a winning 20/20 cricket team. I'm very happy with the list of players chosen in the auction. I'm looking forward to leading the Rajasthan Royals, to playing with the boys and to a successful season," said the champion spinner.

Kepler is Chennai coach

The India Cements Ltd, owner of IPL's Chennai Franchise, Chennai Super Kings today announced the appointment of Kepler Wessels, the former South African captain as their coach. With this, Kepler takes charge of the Chennai Super Kings that will be led by India's One day Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"We wanted somebody who would keep the focus on cricket, be a good task master, and help us win the tournament, while at the same time impart valuable tips to budding cricketers in the State. With the sheer amount of experience he has accumulated in the International arena, he fitted our bill perfectly" said VB Chandrasekhar, Assistant Coach, Chennai Super Kings.

Kepler has a reputation of possessing an astute cricketing mind, a stickler for detail and someone who does an enormous amount of background work in preparing to mould the talent at his disposal. In his various roles he also assumed the role of a mentor to many young players and these are the qualities that made him the choice of the Chennai Super Kings.

Misbah signs for Kolkata

Pakistan's middle order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq was signed up to play for the Kolkata team.

A source close to the Pakistan vice-captain said that Misbah had signed up for Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan's team for USD 180,000.

"Misbah today signed the contract after getting a clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board," the source told PTI.

He said Misbah was sought by the Kolkata team led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly as an afterthought to fill in for some players who might not be available for a period in May when the IPL is on.

At the IPL players auction held in Mumbai last week, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Umar Gul and Kamran Akmal were signed up by different franchise teams. Mohammad Hafeez has also entered into a contract with the IPL.

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