MELBOURNE, Mar 9: The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the stadium where Shane Warne picked up his 700th Test wicket, will now also be the venue for the Australian spinner’s state memorial on March 30.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday confirmed the MCG as the venue for a state memorial service on March 30 to honour the legendary leg-spinner, who died due to heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand last week.
“There’s nowhere in the world more appropriate to farewell Warnie than the ‘G’. Victorians will be able to pay tribute to Shane and his contribution our state, and his sport, at a memorial service at the MCG on the evening of March 30th,” said Andrews in a tweet.
“Info and tickets will be available soon,” he added.
Notably, the MCG was the stage of the leg spinner’s famous Ashes hat-trick in 1994 and the 700th Test wicket on Boxing Day in 2006, his final series before he retired from international cricket.
Earlier, autopsy results confirmed that Warne died from a suspected heart attack, confirming the death was due to natural causes with no signs of foul play. Following his death on the Thai resort island of Koh Samui, Warne’s body was taken by ferry to the mainland city of Surat Thani on Sunday. It was transported to Bangkok on Monday night and was being prepared to fly home to Melbourne, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, Warne’s family in a statement opened up on their “never-ending nightmare” since he passed away.
“To find words to adequately express our sadness is an impossible task for us and looking to a future without Shane is inconceivable, hopefully the mountain of happy memories we all have will help us cope with our ongoing grief,” the statement read.
Warne’s eldest daughter Brook, 24, paying tribute to her father, said that “We were so similar in so many ways and I always used to joke that I got your genes and about how much that annoyed me!
“Well now I couldn’t be happier and prouder that I have your genes. I am lucky and will forever be so proud to call you my Dad forever. I love you to infinity and back and I will miss you forever.”
Warne took 708 wickets in 145 Tests, the second-most in the longest format after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan. He retired from international cricket in 2007 after Australia made a clean sweep of the Ashes.