Ravindra Jadeja was already an U-19 World Cup champion when he joined the Rajasthan Royals camp in the first edition of IPL back in 2008 but it was Shane Warne’s belief in the youngster’s ability that made him an instant hit among fans.
Royals won the first IPL and Jadeja did play his part, albeit as a finisher, slogging his way into Warne’s good books and was named ‘The Rockstar’.
As the world mourned the shocking death of 52-year-old Warne in Thailand’s Koh Samui, Jadeja, it seemed, is still trying to fathom the reality of the tragedy that has hit millions of cricket fans hard.
“It was a shocking news. The moment I heard it, I was so sad and I wasn’t feeling well. I found it difficult to believe that this can be true,” Jadeja said when asked about his time spent with Warne.
When he first met Warne, it was more like a kid in a candy store and meeting a childhood hero.
“When I first met him in 2008, he was already a legend and I couldn’t believe that I would be playing alongside a player of Shane Warne’s stature," said Jadeja after the second day's play in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
"We were just coming out of our U-19s and to share the dressing room with Warne was a huge thing for youngsters like us. He gave me a huge platform and post U-19, it was a direct entry into the IPL,” said Jadeja, expressing his gratitude.
Warne’s death shows the fickle nature of life.
“His death shows that there are no certainties in life. Anything can happen anytime and this kind of news suddenly shocks you to 'what the hell is happening?' I want to pray to Almighty that his soul rests in peace,” Jadeja said.