Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday said Australians were "bewildered" by a "sad and sudden loss" of Shane Warne, and announced the cricketing hero would receive a state funeral.
"He was one of our nation's greatest characters," Morrison said, marking the
52-year-old's death .
Praising him as inspiration to backyard cricketers across the country, Morrison described a larger-than-life character who lit up each Australian summer.
"His humour, his passion, his irreverence, his approachability ensured he was loved by all."
In recognition of Warne's "national achievements his family will be offered a state funeral," Morrison said in a statement.
"This will be done in consultation with the Warne family," he said, promising to "ensure we honour Shane's passing and memory."
Morrison -- who recently tested positive for Covid-19 and is in isolation -- compared Warne to all-time great and fellow Australian Don Bradman.
"There was none like Shane," Morrison said."He lived his life his way. He had his great achievements, but also his regrets. He carried them all the same way. With a cheeky smile & a zest for life."
"There was something magical that he brought to our summers. The bleached blonde hair, the almost casual way he moved to send down a delivery, and his engagement with the crowd. He was one of a kind."
"He inspired so many girls and boys to try their hand at cricket. He made it all look so easy. At some point, in most Australian backyards, we all tried to deliver a flipper."
"Our love and condolences go to Shane's family and particularly his children Brooke, Jackson, and Summer."
CA decides to rename Stand at MCG in spin wizard's honour
The Australian cricket board decided to rename a stand at the MCG in his honour as the country mourned the loss of one of its greatest sportspersons.
The Great Southern Stand at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) will be renamed in honour of Warne with Victoria's minister for tourism and sport, Martin Pakula, making the announcement on Saturday morning after consulting with Victoria premier Daniel Andrews, MCC Trust chairman Steve Bracks and MCC CEO Stuart Fox.
"We will be renaming the Great Southern Stand the S.K. Warne stand and we'll be doing that as soon as we possibly can," Pakula said.
"I can think of no finer tribute to the greatest cricketer this state has produced than to rename the stand the S.K. Warne stand and no matter whatever happens to that stand in the future whether it's rebuilt, refurbished, renovated, it will remain the S.K.
"Warne stand in perpetuity because his legend will live in perpetuity." Warne had taken his 700th Test wicket and also claimed an Ashes hat-trick at the MCG and there is already a statue of the legend outside the ground.
As a tribute to Warne, people gathered around his statue and offered flowers, cricket balls, beers, pies and cigarettes in tribute to his flamboyant lifestyle and cricketing genius.
Cricket Victoria is also planning to potentially rename a stand at the Junction Oval in honour of Warne.
(with inputs from PTI)
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