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Warne regrets losing Watson and Tanvir
Posted on: 12-04-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

and Sohail Tanvir will be a serious blow to the team as they look to defend their IPL crown in South Africa. While Australian allrounder Watson was the Player of the Tournament last season, Pakistan fast bowler Tanvir finished as the leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets.

Both players will be on international duty during the Australia-Pakistan series in the UAE from April 22-May 7, playing five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.

Watson, who recently came off a long-term injury, joined the Royals for their training camp in Cape Town but will fly out with the Australian team next week. Tanvir, on the other hand, will be missing the entire tournament after the IPL cancelled the contracts of Pakistan players because of political tension between India and Pakistan.

"They are big losses," Warne said. "I think Shane misses the first nine games playing for Australia so he'll be available for the last five games and hopefully the finals. He's not bowling at the moment but he's still a big loss. Tanvir was sensational last year, taking early wickets and bowling at the end."

With the IPL rules restricting teams to field a maximum of four non-Indian players, the situation has become complicated for Rajasthan. Warne and South African captain Graeme Smith are likely to fill two of those slots, with England's Dimitri Mascarenhas and South Africa's Tyron Henderson looking to take up Watson's role. South African fast bowler Morne Morkel and Australia's Shane Harwood will be competing as strike bowlers.

Among the Indian players, Warne said he had high hopes from Kamran Khan, 18, the left-arm seamer from Uttar Pradesh who bowls with a slingy action and surprising pace. "He's a tiny little guy but he bowls 140 plus. He's very raw but he could be a bit of a bolter," Warne said.

Khan bowled just one over during Rajasthan's 28 runs lossĀ to the Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Saturday, as Amit Singh, the 27-year-old right-arm fast bowler from Gujarat impressed with 3 for 18. Rajasthan will also be boosted by the return of Munaf Patel, who achieved reasonable success with the Indian team during their tour of New Zealand.

Rajasthan Royals begin their campaign in the second season against the Bangalore Royal Challengers on April 18


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