As tributes were paid to the late spin-king at the Boxing Day Test against South Africa, officials announced Monday that Australia’s men’s Test Player of the Year award will be renamed in Shane Warne’s honour. In sports-crazy Australia, Warne was widely regarded as being second only to Donald Bradman in terms of stature when he passed away suddenly in March at the age of 52. Second, only to the famous Allan Border Medal for the best player across all formats, the Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year award will be given each year.
“As one of Australia’s all-time greats, it is fitting we acknowledge Shane’s extraordinary contribution to Test cricket by naming this award in his honour in perpetuity,” said Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley. The news was revealed on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at Warne’s home ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where he amassed several notable accomplishments, including an Ashes hat-trick and his 700th Test wicket.
For the duration of the game, Warne’s Test cap number 350 will be painted square of the wicket, and both the Australian and South African teams will wear floppy white caps in his honour during the playing of the national song. “His place as a legend of Australian and world sport is assured,” added Hockley.
“Whilst we continue to mourn his passing, it is fitting that we honour Shane at his beloved Boxing Day Test at the MCG.” His honour has already been given to a stand at the location. Warne, who is credited with revitalising the leg-spin technique, amassed 708 Test wickets while playing for an Australian team that dominated the 1990s and 2000s before transitioning into a reputable pundit.