Officials in Australian announced on Monday that the trophy for the men’s Test Player of the Year will be renamed in honour of the late spin king, Shane Warne. Tributes were paid to the late spin king during the Boxing Day Test match against South Africa.
Warne, who passed away suddenly in March at the age of just 52, was widely regarded in the sports-crazed nation of Australia as being only second in stature to Donald Bradman.
The Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year award will be given out on an annual basis, coming in second place only to the legendary Allan Border Medal, which is given to the player who excels the most in all formats of the game.
“As one of Australian all-time greats, it is fitting that we acknowledge Shane’s extraordinary contribution to Test cricket by naming this award in his honour in perpetuity,” said Nick Hockley, the chief executive officer of Cricket Australia. “It is fitting that we acknowledge Shane’s extraordinary contribution to Test cricket by naming this award in his honour.”
The revelation was made on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is Warne’s home ground and where he has accomplished many remarkable things in the past, such as taking an Ashes hat-trick and reaching 700 wickets in total.
Warne’s Test cap number 350 has been painted square of the wicket and will remain there for the length of the match. Additionally, during the playing of the national anthem, both the Australian and South African sides honoured Warne by wearing white floppy hats in his honour.
“His place as a legend of Australian and international sport is certain,” continued Hockley. “His status as a legend of world sport is assured.”
“While we continue to mourn his departure, it is fitting that we honour Shane at his cherished Boxing Day Test at the MCG,” the team said in a statement.
Already, one of the stands at the event has been designated as being named in his honour.
As a member of a powerful Australian squad in the 1990s and 2000s, Warne amassed 708 test wickets before transitioning into a successful career as a renowned commentator. He is widely credited with revitalising the art of leg-spin bowling.