Shane Warne given new cricket honour by on day of tributes at Boxing Day Test | Shane Warne

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The Australian men’s Test player of the year will be named after Shane Warne as cricket continues to honour the iconic leg-spinner.

Wide-brimmed white hats and zinc cream were essential on Monday at the MCG as tributes were paid to Warne during the start of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association announced during the first session that the men’s Test award will now be in Warne’s name.

“As one of Australia’s all-time greats, it is fitting we acknowledge Shane’s extraordinary contribution to Test cricket by naming this award in his honour in perpetuity,” said CA chief executive Nick Hockley.

“Shane was a proud advocate of Test cricket and you only have to look around at all the fans who came out to the MCG in their floppy hats and zinc on Boxing Day to realise what a profound impact he had on the game.”

“The whole cricket community continues to mourn his loss and our thoughts, as always, are with Shane’s family and friends, particularly his children Brooke, Jackson and Summer.”

The CA annual awards, headlined by the Allan Border Medal and the Belinda Clark women’s award, will be held on 30 January.

Warne played 145 Tests between 1992-2007 and his 708 wickets were the record until he was passed by Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

The Australian Test team pay tribute to Shane Warne before play on day one at the MCG.
The Australian Test team pay tribute to Shane Warne before play on day one at the MCG. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

“Warnie 350” – his Australian Test cap number – was stencilled onto the MCG turf on Monday and members of his family were in the crowd.

This is the first Boxing Day Test at Warne’s home ground since he died suddenly on 4 March, aged 52. There was to be another tribute to Warne at 3.50pm on Monday.

While the Australians fielded in their baggy green caps, they and the South Africans lined up in floppy white hats for the pre-game ceremony.

The MCG’s Great Southern Stand was renamed after Warne in the wake of his death.

Warne revolutionised the game in the 1990s and 2000s with his leg-spin bowling and his Test hat-trick was at the MCG in the 1994 Ashes match. Warne’s “ball of the century” to Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes series is an iconic sporting moment.

He was honoured as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the 20th century. Also significantly, Warne was the only one of the five players not to be knighted.

He was a much-loved larrikin who never captained the Test team, despite being their best player for many years.

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