Australian spin legend Shane Warne on Monday welcomed Indian Premier League‘s decision to add two new franchises for 2011 edition of the lucrative Twenty20 event and said the move will bring more sheen to the “bestselling brand of cricket”.
“I think, the Indian Premier League is the bestselling brand of cricket. Every cricketer now dreams of playing for his country and also in the IPL. The decision will give more opportunity to them,” said Warne, who is here to lead the Rajasthan Royals in third edition of IPL commencing March 12.
“The IPL has attracted more people towards the sport. Those, who retired recently were too attracted towards this. I feel it has become best competition of cricket,” Warne added.
The IPL recently announced the addition of two new teams for the 2011 edition of the competition, bringing the total number of teams up to 10.
Warne, speaking about team’s performance in the IPL last season admitted that the side failed to put up consistent show but vowed to make amends this time.
“Yes, we were not consistent last year. We will address that problem and would do better since we are back on the home turf,” Warne said.
The Rajasthan team, which won the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 tournament in 2008, finished an unimpressive sixth last year when the event was organised in South Africa.
“We have strongest group of players, few of them are capable of surprising in IPL3. At top of the order there is South African captain Graeme Smith like a rock,” he said.
“Experience of Damien Martyn and Shane Watson, youngsters like Michael Lumb and Adam Vogues have make us a formidable side. We have some very good talented Indian players too,” Warne said.
Attacking all-rounder Yousuf Pathan had failed to impress last year in the rainbow nation, but Warne has no doubt that he will capitalise on the home advantage to come out with some match winning show this time.
“He was not that consistent in South Africa but he is a match winner. Not many of the batsmen can hit the first ball they face for a six. He had grabbed few man of the match awards in IPL1. He has the capability to change the course of any match,” said Warne.
“I’m going to entrust the responsibility to my teammates. I am sure there would be hands raised to grab the opportunity willingly.
“In our team all players are equal and that is our strength. I make them believe that we can win from any situation. That is why we won most of our last-ball finishes,” he added.
Asked about his own performance, Warne said: “I have turned few balls during the practice matches. I hope I would soon be in perfect rhythm.”
Warne also said that he was happy to be part of many fabulous victories of Australia, including the world cup.
“I played under two great captains Mark Taylor and Allan Border. I was also part of the many fine victories like World Cup and many others,” he said.