A bronze statue of Australian cricket great Neil Harvey will be placed outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) next year in the latest instalment of the Australia Post Avenue of Legends.
Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) president Paul Sheahan made the announcement at the official Boxing Day Test luncheon in the MCG’s Olympic Room today.
The Australia Post Avenue of Legends will see a minimum of five statues placed in Yarra Park, extending from the MCC members entrance up an avenue towards Wellington Parade.
The first statue - of cricketer Shane Warne - was unveiled before last year’s Boxing Day Test, while a bronze sculpture of Australian football legend and six-time Melbourne Football Club premiership coach Norm Smith was revealed in September this year.
Neil Harvey is regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have played Test cricket for Australia. In 79 Tests, starting with a century on debut during Bradman’s “Invincibles” tour of England in 1948, he scored 6149 runs at 48.41, with 21 centuries.
“Neil Harvey was a household name in Australian sport during the post-World War II period,” said MCC president Paul Sheahan. “He was a gifted batsman and a remarkably athletic fieldsman for his time. He is a worthy addition to the Australia Post Avenue of Legends series.”
The left-hander from Victoria served as a national selector for 12 years after his retirement. In 2000 he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and was also selected in the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia) official Test Team of the 20th Century.
"We’re delighted that Neil Harvey has been inducted into the Australia Post Avenue of Legends,” said Australia Post Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour. “He served Victoria, New South Wales and Australia with great distinction throughout a first-class career spanning almost two decades.”
Sculptor Louis Laumen, who created the Shane Warne piece, will produce the sculpture of Harvey, which is expected to be unveiled in late-December, 2013 to coincide with the Boxing Day Test between Australia and England.
Selection criteria for the Australia Post Avenue of Legends dictates candidates must be Australian, renowned for their sportsmanship and that they or their sport played is connected with the MCG.
Statues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Australia Post Avenue of Legends (2011-2013)
• Shane Warne (Cricket)
• Norm Smith (Australian football)
• Neil Harvey (Cricket)*
*To be unveiled in December, 2013 on a date to be fixed.
Tattersall’s Parade of the Champions (2003-2006)
• Sir Donald Bradman, Keith Miller, Bill Ponsford, Dennis Lillee
• Ron Barassi, Leigh Matthews, Dick Reynolds, Haydn Bunton
• Shirley Strickland, Betty Cuthbert.