AUS vs SA: Cricket Australia set plans to honor Shane Warne during Boxing Day Test

Players will be donning Warne's iconic floppy hat during national anthem.

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Shane Warne
Shane Warne. (Photo Source: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

In honor of the legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne, all the South African and Australian players will don floppy hats during the national anthems at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Boxing Day Test will be hosted by the MCG, which will also be the first Test at the venue since Warne’s demise, who passed away aged 52 earlier this year, in March, in Thailand.

During his lengthy career, the Australian great bagged 708 Test wickets in total. Many of his greatest performances took place at the storied Melbourne Cricket Ground. When Warne dismissed the then-England captain Andrew Strauss for his 700th Test wicket in 2006 at the same venue, and local fans used to rush to the venue, whenever the spin king played, to show their support.

In honor of the legendary cricketer, the stand at the arena’s southern end was renamed the Shane Warne Stand. The CEO of Cricket Australia, Nick Hockley, stated that it was crucial for fans to be able to honor Warne and recognize the accomplishments he made throughout his career.

“Shane is an icon to cricket fans globally for the greatness of his cricketing achievements, his charisma, and his infectious enthusiasm for the game. His place as a legend of Australian and world sport is assured. Whilst we continue to mourn his passing, it is fitting that we honor Shane at his beloved Boxing Day Test at the MCG,” Hockley said.

Fans to be encouraged to wear floppy hats and apply zinc cream

A number of honors have been planned for the upcoming Test match by Cricket Australia, and players of both teams will wear Shane Warne's infamous floppy white hat. Warne's legendary Test cap number, 350, will be painted square of the wicket for the duration of the game.

On Boxing Day at 3.50 p.m., a visual of Warne will appear on the MCG screens, and throughout the game, highlights of the well-known Victorian will be shown. The spectators will also be encouraged to wear Warne’s iconic floppy hat and also apply his signature zinc cream.

“Shane became recognizable not only through his genius and mastery of the art of leg spin, but also his floppy hat and zinc, so we encourage fans to remember Shane by wearing their own floppy hat and zinc to Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test. I know I speak for the whole cricket community in saying that our thoughts continue to be with Shane’s family and friends and particularly his children Brooke, Jackson, and Summer,” he added.

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