Australia legend Shane Warne's 'baggy green' cap sale raises $692666 for bushfire victims

Warne, 50, is one of many local and international athletes to support the fundraising for bushfire victims

Reuters, Jan 10, 2020 10:09:57 IST

Australian cricketer Shane Warne’s prized “baggy green” cap raised more than A$1 million ($686,000) on Friday for bushfire relief efforts after the former leg-spinner donated it for auction.

Twenty-seven people have been killed and thousands made homeless in recent months as huge fires scorched through more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land, an area the size of South Korea.

Several towns and communities in the heavily populated southeastern states of Victoria and New South Wales have been advised to be alert and evacuate if needed.

Australia legend Shane Warnes baggy green cap sale raises 2666 for bushfire victims

File image of Shane Warne. Reuters

Warne is Test cricket’s second-most successful bowler with 708 wickets in 145 tests, behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800.

The baggy green is presented to Australian players when they make their Test debut and they receive just one for their entire career. He donated the cap to an online auction site on Monday.

The auction closed at 10 am on Friday (0430 IST) with a final public bid of A$1,007,500.

“Unbelievable ... so generous from everyone. Totally blown away,” Warne said on Twitter shortly before the auction closed.

The auction attracted global interest and the price eclipsed the A$425,000 achieved by the late Don Bradman’s baggy green when it was sold in 2003.

“We have been overwhelmed and it is a fantastic result,” Marc Cheah, head of marketing for auctioneers Pickles, told Reuters.

“Other baggy greens have been auctioned and Don Bradman’s got $425,000 about 15 years ago, but the Don is the Don. He’s the greatest cricketer that ever lived,” Cheah said in relation to the widely held recognition Bradman was the best batsman the game has produced.

“But Shane is also right up there and that drove a lot of traffic and momentum, while the cause is also very worthwhile.”

Cheah said as the sale process was still being finalised he could not confirm whether the successful bidder was an individual or institution.

Warne, 50, is one of many local and international athletes to support the fundraising for bushfire victims with several cricketers promising to donate a sum based on the number of sixes they hit in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20 competition.

Tennis players in the country for tournaments ahead of the Australian Open also promised to donate money for the number of aces they serve, while Australian players in the NBA commited$750,000 to bushfire relief.

Six-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday he was donating $500,000 towards the rescue and care of wildlife caught in the bushfires.

Local sports organisations have also organised fundraising drives at sporting events, while tennis greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have committed to an exhibition ahead of the Jan. 20-Feb. 2 Australian Open.

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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2020 10:09:57 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
6 New Zealand 6056 252