The team from India’s princely state didn’t quite command the kind of respect and interest that befits royalty. So when the Rajasthan Royals, led by Shane Warne, swept the opposition away and took home the first-ever IPL title, everyone was surprised, impressed and mesmerised. Sohail Tanveer and Shane Watson were the other big names that powered the side, but it was players like Swapnil Asnodkar and Ravindra Jadeja that shone.
When IPL 2009 got underway, the Royals were the favourites. The ownership was now bolstered by the presence of Bollywood diva Shilpa Shetty and her fiance Raj Kundra. Kaif was left out and Watson was unavailable. Middlesex’s Tyron Henderson, who was roped in after a tug-of-war with Kings XI Punjab, played just one game. Yusuf Pathan gave a glimpse of some Rajashtan magic starring in a win over KKR in the only Super Over of the tournament.