MCG’s Great Southern Stand to be named after Australia legend Shane Warne
Australia prime minister and Cricket Australia gave their consent
The Great Southern Stand at the MCG is set to be named after Shane Keith Warne
The MCG stand will now be known as SK Warne stand
The Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is set to be named after Australian cricket legend Shane Warne after the cricketer passed away on Friday at the age of 52.
Warne was on a holiday in Thailand where he breathed his last, the cricketer’s manager said.
The legendary leg-spinner took his 700th Test wicket in front of cheering fans in the Southern Stand at the MCG on Boxing Day 2006. On Saturday morning, people of Melbourne gathered around his statue to lay flowers, cricket balls, beers, pies and cigarettes as a tribute to Warne.
Victoria's minister for tourism and sport, Martin Pakula, confirmed that he had consulted with Victoria premier Daniel Andrews, MCC Trust chairman Steve Bracks and MCC CEO Stuart Fox and they had resolved to honour Warne by renaming the Southern Stand in his honour.
"We will be renaming the Great Southern Stand the S.K. Warne stand and we'll be doing that as soon as we possibly can," Pakula said. "I can think of no finer tribute to the greatest cricketer this state has produced than to rename the stand the S.K. Warne stand and no matter whatever happens to that stand in the future whether it's rebuilt, refurbished, renovated, it will remain the S.K. Warne stand in perpetuity because his legend will live in perpetuity."
Also Read: Shane Warne dies at 52, tributes pour in
Cricket Victoria is also planning to honour Warne as there were already plans to potentially rename a stand at the Junction Oval in his name prior to his passing.
State funeral for Warne
Earlier, Victoria Premier Andrews and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison contacted Warne’s family and offered them to honour the cricketer with a full state funeral.
Cricket Australia chairman Dr Lachlan Henderson also spoke to Morrison directly on Saturday and thinks renaming the Southern Stand at the MCG would be a fitting tribute.
"That would seem a very appropriate acknowledgement of Shane Warne," Henderson said. "He's been an icon of the game, obviously with St Kilda Cricket Club, Victoria, our Australian team for so many years. He also played cricket all around the world. So it's a very fitting tribute.
"Right here this morning, driving past a junior cricket ground in Victoria, I saw a young leg-spin bowler bowl a beautifully flighted ball that beat the bat and I'm sure someone was looking down on that young bowler as he embarks on his career."