The Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be renamed after the legendary Australian cricketer, Shane Warne following the sudden passing of Australian cricket legend at aged 52. Warne took away suddenly while on holiday in Thailand on Friday and left the cricketing fraternity in utter shock. On a grey dreary Saturday in Melbourne, Warne claimed his 700th Test wicket in front of adoring fans in the Southern Stand at the MCG on Boxing Day 2006, Melburnians gathered around his statue outside the Members’ at the MCG to pay a tribute to Warne.
Victoria’s minister for tourism and sport, Martin Pakula, confirmed that he had consulted with Victoria premier Daniel Andrews, MCC Trust chairman Steve Bracks, and MCC CEO Stuart Fox and they have arrived t the conclusion that they will be honoring Shane Warne by renaming the Southern Stand after the legend.
As per the quotes in ESPNCricinfo, Pakula said, “We will be renaming the Great Southern Stand the S.K. Warne stands and we’ll be doing that as soon as we possibly can. I can think of no finer tribute to the greatest cricketer this state has produced than to rename the stand the S.K. Warne stand and no matter whatever happens to that stand in the future whether it’s rebuilt, refurbished, renovated, it will remain the S.K. Warne stands in perpetuity because his legend will live in perpetuity.”
Cricket Victoria is also looking to find a way to honor Warne as there were already plans to potentially rename a stand at the Junction Oval in his name prior to his passing. Premier Andrews and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison have also contacted the family of Shane Warne family to offer a state funeral but the family has been given some time to work out what they would like to do.
On the other hand, Cricket Australia chairman Dr. Lachlan Henderson had said, “That would seem a very appropriate acknowledgment of Shane Warne. He’s been an icon of the game, obviously with St Kilda Cricket Club, Victoria, our Australian team for so many years. He also played cricket all around the world. So it’s a very fitting tribute. Right here this morning, driving past a junior cricket ground in Victoria, I saw a young leg-spin bowler bowl a beautifully flighted ball that beat the bat and I’m sure someone was looking down on that young bowler as he embarks on his career.”
The Australia women’s team wore two black armbands in memory of Warne, and Rod Marsh, who also passed away Friday, and observed a minute’s silence ahead of their Women’s World Cup opener against England in New Zealand. England also wore a black armband in tribute to both men.