Even as the ratings of his television chat show plummet and the tabloids are rife with stories of his amorous lifestyle, Shane Warne is to be immortalised in stone. The Melbourne Cricket Club has announced that the Australian spin genius will be the 11th Aussie sporting great to be honoured with a statue outside the renowned venue.
The club said it had started an Avenue of Legends undertaking, stretching along the path from the members' entrance to Wellington Parade and Warne's statue will be the first in a new series.
"Shane's playing record is unparalleled and he will sit comfortably alongside the 10 sporting greats already outside the MCG," club president David Meiklejohn was quoted as saying in the media here.
Warne sported many different looks during his 145-game Test career but Melbourne-based sculptor Louis Laumen, who created the statues of Sir Donald Bradman, Keith Miller, Bill Ponsford and Dennis Lillee, said he will be studying Warne's technique to give him a suitable look for the statue.
"Some (looks) were very temporary and I don't think it'd be best to get a classic image of him with one of his more wild experiments. I'll have to have a look at the Shane Warne technique and see what is the moment in the whole stride, the jump ... there's going to be a key moment in the action that identifies him," Laumen was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.
Warne's statue should be unveiled at the end of 2011, so will take a considerable amount of time in the making and shaping.