‘Seemed unreal that I was going to play with such a legend’: Jadeja remembers Shane Warne in emotional tribute

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India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja remembered Australia great Shane Warne in an emotional tribute after he scored a career-best 175 not out on the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Mohali. Jadeja played under Warne’s captaincy for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he was yet to make his senior international debut and was fresh off winning the Under-19 World Cup.  

ALSO READ | When Shane Warne identified ‘Rockstar’ Jadeja as ‘special talent, superstar in the making’ during IPL 2008

Warne had described Jadeja as a “rockstar” at the time and has since praised the India all-rounder on numerous occasions over the years. The news of the legendary spinners death sent shockwaves on Friday. 

“When I met him in 2008, he was one of the biggest names in the game. But it seemed unreal that I was going to play with such a big legend,” Jadeja said after the day’s play on Saturday. 

“I had just come from the U19 level and to play with him and share the dressing room with him, it was a big thing. He gave me a very big platform because after U19 I directly got to play in the IPL. I was feeling really great.

“It was really shocking news. When I came to know about it yesterday, I was feeling very sad and I couldn’t believe that it was true,” said Jadeja. 

Jadeja had earlier tweeted about Warne, to which veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle replied: “He loved you Jaddu. Remember the time in ’08 at the DY Patil Stadium….He called you over and said to me “This kid is a rockstar”. We chatted more than once about you and he was very fond of you and of Yusuf (Pathan).”

“Yes harsha bhai,i still remember that chat. Really sad news,” Jadeja replied.

In addition to making a career-best total that led India to 574/8, Jadeja later took the all-important wicket of Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne.  

“It is sad that there is no certainty about life. Anything can happen. It was a shocking feeling and my was reaction was like – how can this happen? May his soul rest in peace,” said Jadeja. 


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