According to reports here, Shane Warne’s state funeral will be held at the prestigious MCG over the next two to three weeks in front of an expected crowd of 100,000 people in a fitting farewell to the Australian spin king. A public memorial will be held after Warne’s family expressed their condolences at a private service.
Warne’s manager James Erskine did not confirm the MCG as the venue for the state funeral, but indicated that no other stadium would be suitable given the great Australian’s stature.
“But where else?” Erskine told ‘The Age’.
According to the ‘Herald Sun’, the state funeral is likely to take place within two or three weeks, which will overlap with the Australian Rules Football League (AFL) season, but the MCG will “make all necessary arrangements to accommodate the service”. .
A date has not been set as Warne’s family waits for his body to return to Melbourne following his sudden death from a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand on Friday.
The Age quoted sources as saying Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wanted to attend the state funeral and were looking for a suitable date with Warne’s family.
The MCG was Warne’s favorite ground and was the scene of his famous hat-trick against England in the Boxing Day Test in 1994, taking the wickets of tail-enders Phil Defrytas, Darren Gough and Devon Malcolm.
The MCG grounds have its own statue of Warne, and it has become a central point of respect for fans with many flowers placed alongside beer cans, packets of cigarettes and meat pies from Victoria Bitter.
The 52-year-old will also have the Southern Stand named after him, which will become the SK Warne Stand.
On the same day of Warne’s sudden demise, another Australian legend, former wicket-keeper Rodney Marsh passed away a week after suffering a heart attack. The Western Australian government has also offered Marsh a state funeral.
Cricket Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia’s state cricket association, along with St Kilda Cricket Club, where Warne played, are likely to discuss the commemoration of the two legends of Australian cricket later this week.
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