Spin legend Shane Warne will reunite with Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season, and will play the role of team mentor, the inaugural winners announced on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old will be joined by former Mumbai batsman Zubin Bharucha, who has been appointed as Head of Cricket. “I am very happy and excited to be back with the Rajasthan Royals, who I believe hold a very special place in my cricketing journey. I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the franchise and fans of Rajasthan Royals,” Warne said.

“We have a strong, young and energetic bunch of boys and I am looking forward to work with them”, he added.

The Australian led the Royals for three seasons between 2008 and 2011, during which he played 52 games and picked up 56 wickets. “We welcome back Shane Warne as Rajasthan Royals mentor. He is a legend of the game and what he has achieved in Rajasthan Royals is unmatchable,” said co-owner Manoj Badale.

“Bringing back Shane Warne is also a way to giving back to our fans who have stood by us in trying times. As we are looking to build a strong team that can be in contention for the title, we believe Warne is the right person to mentor the Rajasthan Royals. Zubin has also contributed immensely to the growth of the team and we are happy to have both back on board. We are excited and looking forward to a successful comeback,” Badale added.

Warne led Rajasthan to their only title win in 2008. After serving a two-year ban, the franchise make their way back to the IPL this season.