Almost seven months after thousands of Australians gathered at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to farewell beloved cricket legend, Shane Warne, a crowd of over 80,000 is expected to gather again as the Australian cricket team takes to the field for the first time since the sorrowful event.
Not only is the MCG where the late King of Spin’s public memorial service was held, but it’s also where the legend claimed his 700th Test wicket and landed an Ashes hat-trick.
Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup captain, Aaron Finch, has said the impact Warne left will be felt in the match against England on Friday evening, October 28.
“It will be tough,” Finch told reporters.
“(He’s) someone who had such an impact on so many guys with us growing up, him being our idol, knowing him personally and being a Victorian, coming to the ‘G so many times and watching him do his thing and perform unbelievably well is really special.
“It will be difficult, but I hope everyone can celebrate it as well.”
As reported by the Illawarra Mercury, former head coach for the India national cricket team, Ravi Shastri, who is in the country fulfilling match commentary duties, said Warne’s loss has left a hole in the cricket world.
“His influence on the game worldwide is phenomenal,” Shastri said.
“It really touched the hearts of a lot of Indians when he passed away.
“I know if he was around the banter would have been unbelievable.
“You feel sad because he was a mate, he was a good mate of mine, so it does hurt.”
Warne died on March 4 from a suspected heart attack, at the age 52, while on a holiday on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand.
The cricket legend’s management released a statement announcing the tragedy.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement said.
“The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
Warne’s death was announced less than 24 hours after he tweeted his shock and grief after the passing of legendary wicket-keeper Rodney Marsh, who also died following a cardiac arrest on March 4.
Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game & an inspiration to so many young boys & girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket & gave so much-especially to Australia & England players. Sending lots & lots of love to Ros & the family. RIP mate❤️
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 4, 2022
Following Warne and Marsh’s deaths, the Australian cricket community was left mourning yet another one of their own after fellow cricket icon Andrew Symonds died at the age of 46 following a car crash.