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In South Asia, cricket is more than a sport, it’s a national past time. Whatever the time of year, passion for the game is extremely high, but with the country having just hosted the World Cup, cricket-fever is at all time high.

India battled to a glorious victory, ousting the likes of Sri Lanka, Australia, and England along the way. With the nation in an joyous uproar, it’s time for the best players in the world to converge on the country for the start of the 4th Indian Premier League.

Returning to captain the Rajasthan Royals is the man known as the greatest spin bowler ever to have approached a wicket. As well as being a fantastic cricketer, Shane Warne is a keen poker player and 888 has devised a way to celebrate the union of these two fantastic pursuits.

Using their innovative Team Poker format, 888 is letting you play along with Rajasthan Royals as they fight their way to glory in the IPL. When the team have a game, an attendant poker tournament will be running in the 888poker lobby. When you register, you pick your team – either the Royals or their opponents – and attempt to outdo those who picked the other side.

The event plays just like a standard tournament, but winners only split 50% of the prize pool. The other 50% is divided evenly between all the players who joined the winning team. After the tournament is finished, the finishing positions of all players are averaged out and one side is declared the winner.

With a buy-in of just $1 and a guarantee of $1000, there’s plenty of chances for some decent overlay and a decent cut of the winnings should your team mates do you proud. The next event sees the Rajasthan Royals vs. Kings XI Punjab. You can choose to back either Shane’s boys or their opponents.

If you’re new to 888 poker, make sure you take advantage of their free $8 sign up bonus, including a chance to win an ipad 2. And if you’re one of the poor souls without a thorough knowledge of Warney’s incredible cricket history, take a moment to educate yourself with the clip below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNIUjI_LINE&feature=related[/youtube]