New Delhi: Retired Australian leg-spin genius Shane Warne has been named captain and coach of the Jaipur team in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, the franchise announced on Wednesday.
"We were looking for a legendary cricketer whom all players will look up to," said Fraser Castellino, chief executive of Emerging Media, which paid 67 million dollars for the Jaipur team.
"Shane's commitment and astute cricketing brain makes him one of the most respected cricketers in the history of the game."
Warne is one of the four foreign cricketers in the side, others being South African captain Graeme Smith and Pakistan's Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal.
Smith emerged the team's highest-paid overseas player after last week's auction in Mumbai with 475,000 dollars, followed by Warne (450,000), Younis (225,000) and Akmal (150,000).
Each player will receive his auction price as an annual wage over the initial three-year contract. The IPL starts on April 18.
"Our main goal is to build a winning Twenty20 team. Reputation and track record in Tests and one-day internationals are not necessarily relevant when it comes to Twenty20," Warne said in a statement.
"I am very happy with the list of players chosen at the auction. They are all part of the strategy to building a winning team. I am looking forward to leading the side, to playing with the boys and to a successful season."
Warne, 38, quit international cricket last year after bagging 708 wickets in 145 Tests and 293 in 194 one-day internationals.
Former South African captain Kepler Wessels was appointed coach of Chennai, one of the eight teams in fray for the 44-day tournament to be played in 12 Indian cities.
The 50-year-old Wessels, who played for both Australia and South Africa, retired from international cricket in 1994 after playing 40 Tests and 109 one-day internationals.
The IPL, brainchild of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, is backed by the International Cricket Council and supported by cricket boards around the world.