Gaurav Kalra (GK): You are brand ambassador again but you don't really need an official designation to be part of the franchise?
Shane Warne (SW): Look my journey at Rajasthan Royals started in 2008. Becoming a captain, coach. Becoming the only non-Indian captain-coach. That first year not knowing what was going to happen. Then from there, I have been involved for the last 11 years. A couple of years I wasn't doing too much but I was still advising from the far a sort of consulting and helping the owners what players have I seen, I think this guy could be good and helping with a bit of strategy and things but last year I was a mentor so I was helping with the cricket department. This year I am not helping in the cricket department. They have got guys there like Patty and Zubin(Bharucha), Stephen Jones so everyone there, so we will leave them to it. This year we are sort of working out how we are going to push Rajasthan Royals worldwide, making strategies with the owners, helping push the brand of the Rajasthan Royals because it is a wonderful story the Royals.
And this year part of our strategy is that it is a new beginning for us. Last year we joined the forces with a lot of cancer organisations we played a game in pink and the response was phenomenal from the fans, they saying 'guys you should be pink.' And we sat down and thought about 'Ok Pink City Jaipur,' playing in pink aligning ourselves with different type of people. It is time for a change. And everyone is trying to reinvent their franchise all the time and the pink that the players are going to wear this year around will be very cool. After 10 years, we are making a new plan with pink in the pink city of Jaipur. The Rajasthan Royals are going to be pretty strong.
GK: Yes, in fact in 2008, you missed out on one minor detail that you actually won the thing (IPL). It was one of the great underdog stories because no one gave you a chance. But just looking at the squad this year, you seem to have some very high-impact players. Not all of them may be available because of the World Cup but still looks very good?
SW: Yes, Zubin and the guys have done a great job, picking the squad and getting them together. If you look at the players, knowing that this is a World Cup year, they will probably miss a few games. We are hoping that most of the players will be around for at least 10 games if not maybe 11. So you know not 14 games but 10 games is a lot. So they can make a significant impact. You know they can really make an impact in your destination to the final which what all the franchises want - 'Make the final.', not to finish on top but make the finals. Because once you get into the final, anything can happen.
GK: Talk to us a little bit about Steve Smith. Not quite sure with the situation of the elbow injury is. How much will he be available? But if he does play in this high-profile tournament with all that has happened of late and working with you is going to be an interesting dynamic as well. How are you looking forward to that?
SW: Yeah, everyone is waiting to see what has happened with the elbow and I suppose we will be reacting to how he will come up with his elbow. Well hoping from Australia's point of view, I know from the Royals point of view that he is fine, he will be able to play...he is up there with the best and he has proven that. So, if he is fit and raring to go, he will be hungry to prove a point. And he would like to play, he would like to get some games before the World Cup which is an advantage for the Royals. So we are just waiting for everybody else and hopefully, he will be OK.