The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) is mourning the sudden loss of Australian cricketing legend and Club member, Shane Warne.Warne became a Melbourne Cricket Club member in 2001 before being inducted as a honorary cricket member in 2012.
Some of Warne’s greatest career achievements occurred at his beloved Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in front of a home crowd, including becoming just the fifth Australian bowler to take a Test match hat-trick in the 1994 Boxing Day Test match against England.
He would also become the first bowler to pass the 700-Test wicket mark with a trademark Warne dismissal, when he bowled Andrew Strauss in front of a crowd of 89,155 at the MCG during the 2006 Boxing Day Test.
A statue of Shane Warne joined an illustrious group of sporting legends when it was unveiled outside Gate 2 of the MCG in December 2011 – a tribute to his impact on the game of cricket.
The one-and-a-half times life size bronzed sculpture captured Warne in his classic leg-spin pose was commissioned by the Melbourne Cricket Club and produced by Louis Laumen.
Warne’s passing is a devastating blow for those who love cricket, following the death of fellow Australia great, Rod Marsh, just yesterday.
Melbourne Cricket Club, manager of the MCG, President Michael Happell said the beloved former Australian leg-spinner leaves behind a legacy as one of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game.
“We join the rest of the Australian community in expressing our shock and agony at the passing of one of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers – Shane Warne,” Mr Happell said.
“Shane Warne and the MCG have gone hand in hand for the best part of almost four decades, and it seems incomprehensible that he is no longer with us.
“He lit up the MCG like no one else - from his 1994 hat-trick to claiming his 700th Test wicket - few have made as big of an impact on the hallowed turf as Shane.
“We will continue to honour his memory and career achievements at the MCG and when we walk past the statue of his likeness located outside Gate 2.
“Shane’s children, family and friends are in the thoughts of all MCC members today.”
Rising through the ranks of St Kilda Cricket Club and Victoria, Warne’s international career spanned across 15 years and saw him take 708 Test wickets — the most ever for an Australian, and the second-most of all time behind only Muttiah Muralitharan.
Having made his Test debut at the SCG in 1992, Warne rose to become a key figure in both the Test and One-Day International formats in one of the greatest sustained periods of dominance by any team in world cricket.
He was a member of Australia’s World Cup win in 1999, and five Ashes-winning sides between 1993 and 2003.
A useful lower-order batsman, Warne also scored more than 3000 Test runs, and he holds the record for most Test runs without a century.
Warne was highly effective bowling in one-day cricket, something few other leg spin bowlers have managed. He was instrumental in helping Australia win the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England, with his performances in the semi final against South Africa and in the final against Pakistan, saw him named man of the match for both crucial games.
He took more than 1000 international wickets (in Tests and One-Day Internationals) and was the second bowler to reach this milestone after Muralitharan.
He retired from international cricket in January 2007, at the end of Australia's 5-0 Ashes series victory over England.
As well as representing Australia on an international level, he also played Australian domestic cricket for his home state of Victoria, the Melbourne Stars, and English domestic cricket for Hampshire. He was captain of Hampshire for three seasons, from 2005 to 2007.
It is the famous "Gatting Ball", which spun sharply and bowled bemused English cricketer Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes series, for which Warne is arguably most fondly remembered.
Warne’s durability and impact on the modern game assures his place alongside them in cricket's pantheon. In 2000, he was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, the only specialist bowler selected in the quintet.
Inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame (ACHOF) in 2012, Warne’s outstanding contribution to cricket was outlined by ACHOF Chair Peter King.
“Shane’s cricketing exploits are well documented and he was rightly inducted into the Australian Cricket hall of Fame in 2012,” Mr King said.
“In my eyes, Warnie will be missed for his contribution to the game in his playing days and sadly for what he would have contributed to the game in the future. He was interested in talent and the future of the cricket, right down to local grassroots cricket.
“He was such an interesting commentator of the game - he painted a picture that we could all relate to.
“Shane embodied the larrikin image of the quintessential Australian and will be missed enormously by the cricket community but more importantly by the broader community.
“He always put a smile on our faces and on behalf of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, our heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends.”
The Victorian Government has announced the Great Southern Stand will be renamed to the S. K. Warne Stand to permanently honour his contribution to the game of cricket, the state of Victoria and especially to the MCG.
Vale Shane Keith Warne.