Cricket Australia has announced it will honour the late, great Shane Warne by renaming the annual men’s Test Player of the Year award after him.
The Australian cricket awards are held on January 30, and are headlined by the Allan Border Medal and the Belinda Clark Award.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground paid an emotional tribute to its favourite son ahead of the Boxing Day Test match.
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It’s the first Test at the iconic venue since Warne died suddenly in March at the age of 52.
The proud Victorian – Australia’s greatest ever wicket taker – celebrated some of his biggest career highlights at his home ground.
He took an Ashes hat-trick in the 1994 Test, and then claimed his 700th Test wicket there 12 years later.
On Monday, players from both Australia and South Africa donned floppy white wide-brim hats – which Warne famously wore – during warm-up.
Painted on the MCG surface in big white letters is “Warne 350” – 350 being his Australian playing number.
And at 3.50pm on Boxing Day the MCG will play a montage of Warne highlights on the big screen.
Melbourne’s Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy became emotional when paying tribute to Warne and his former teammate Andrew Symonds, who tragically died in a single-vehicle car crash in May.
“I want to pay a special tribute to our beautiful brother Andrew Symonds, who is no longer with us but is resting with his ancestors,” Aunty Joy told the MCG.
“Today we celebrate the legendary Shane Warne. To his family and friends, which is each and every one of you here today, what a legend.
“It is a wonderful opportunity it is that I have to say that this will always be his resting place here on Wurundjeri country.”
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