Shane Warne to have a statue or stand at MCG

Published: Friday, December 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Despite his decision to quit the game, Shane Warne will continue to adorn the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) through either a bronze statue or a renamed stand.

According to The Age newspaper, the MCG trust seconded a suggestion by Premier Steve Bracks to honour the spin legend in a special way.

Trust chairman John Wylie said Warne would be honoured at MCG as ''probably Victoria's greatest ever cricketer'' and the form of recognition would be worked out with the Melbourne Cricket Club over coming months.

''It deserves more than five minutes consideration. These things stand for generations and we want to make sure we get it right,'' Mr Wylie said.

Premier Steve Bracks said, ''There is no doubt in my mind that Shane Warne is up there as one of the greats, and has done so well at the MCG.'' Australia Prime Minister John Howard has also joined the tribute to the spinner, writing a personal letter to Warne expressing his admiration. Later Mr Howard described Warne as the greatest slow bowler Australia has ever produced and said the leggie deserves more credit for reviving the art of leg spin in an era dominated by fast bowlers.

''For those who love cricket that was an enormous contribution in itself,'' he said.

Mr Howard also announced that he would watch some of the the Boxing Day Test live and every day of Warne's swansong in Sydney.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd also joined the Prime Minister and paid glowing tributes to the spinner.

''I don't know how it's going to unfold in the future without Shane Warne in the team,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stephen Gough admitted Warne's retirement was in fact a marketing boon for the Boxing Day Test, with people expected to snap up remaining tickets.


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