IPL anecdotes: When Shane Warne burst Mohammad Kaif’s ego and disciplined Jadeja

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Busting the ego of a current star, channelising the talent of a future star and enjoying the earthy sense of humour of a nonchalant India international were some of the things that Shane Warne did during a memorable first edition of the Indian Premier League.
In his much-acclaimed autobiography ‘No Spin’, Warne recollected some of the back stories that went into the making of Rajasthan Royals, the fairytale winners of the maiden edition.
Warne recollected an incident related to Mohammad Kaif, which could have people in splits but also at the same time show the marked difference between the Indian and the Australian sporting cultures.
Warne writes: “It was Mohammad Kaif, who, unknowingly, brought our attention to something that needed fixing straightaway. When we checked into the hotel as Rajasthan Royals group, everyone got their room key and disappeared.
“Minutes later, while I was chatting with the owners in reception, I noticed Kaif go to the front desk and say, “I am Kaif.”
“Yes,” said the receptionist, “How can we help?”
“I am Kaif.” I went over.
“Everything alright, mate?” I asked.
“Yes, I am Kaif.”
“I think they know, who you are, mate, what do yo mean? What are you looking for?” Warne asked.
“I have got a little room like everyone else,” Kaif said.
“I said “Right ok. Do you want to upgrade yourself or something?”
“Yes, I am Kaif,” he repeated.
Warne then said that he “knew exactly what he (Kaif) wanted! “I am a senior, an Indian international player, so I get a bigger room,” he meant.
Warne said: “Without trying to be funny, mate, everyone gets the same room. I am the only one with a big room because I have to meet with people.”
“Oh.” And off he (Kaif) walked.
Warne then wrote: “We realised that the senior Indians expected preferential treatment and youngsters were like, you know, ‘pick my bag!’.
So I figured that I had to gain the respect of the whole squad of 50 by quickly laying down exactly the same ground rules for everyone.”

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