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Images: Warne statue unveiled at the MCG

Last updated on: December 22, 2011 13:45 IST

Images: Warne statue unveiled at the MCG

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Shane Warne's presence at the Melbourne Cricket Club is no longer just memories -- he's now immortalized there forever as the 11th statue of Australian sporting greats at the ground.

The bronzed sculpture is the first to be commissioned by the MCG as part of the Australia Post Avenue of Legends series, which will see a minimum of five statues placed in Yarra Park during the next five years.

The ceremonial unveiling of Warne's statue at the MCG has raised eyebrows, and not because the likeness reflects the bulkier Warne of five years ago.

"That's 300kg, so it's pretty lifelike from when I played," Warne joked after the unveiling.

Warne's children, Brooke, Summer and Jackson, were at the unveiling, as was Hurley's son Damian.


Image: Shane Warne poses during the unveiling of the Shane Warne statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Photographs: Getty Images

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'It's a great honour'

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"Congratulations to Louis for making a very good likeness that I am proud of," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.

Taking a closer look at the statue's grip in the ball, Warne said: "It looks like a leg-break. 

"It's a great honour, it's a bit weird seeing yourself up there but, I'm very proud," he said. 

He joins fellow cricketing greats Don Bradman, Keith Miller, Bill Ponsford and Dennis Lillee, Olympic athletes Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland and AFL footballers Haydn Bunton, Leigh Matthews, Ron Barassi and Dick Reynolds as statues at the ground.


Image: Shane Warne poses during the unveiling of the Shane Warne statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Photographs: Getty Images

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Impact player

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Former captain Mark Taylor recalled how Warne brought a sense of fun and flair to the Australian team.

"When Warnie came into the side in the early 1990s the game was dominated by fast bowlers," Taylor was quoted as saying in abc.net.

"We had a guy who could, at the end of the game, make as big an impact as the West Indies fast bowlers could at the start.

"No matter how many runs we had on the board, with Shane Warne in the side we could still make them enough to win the game."

Warne rated his breakthrough 7-52 to beat the West Indies in 1992-93, his hat-trick against England in 1994 and his 700th Test wicket in the last of his 11 Tests at the MCG in 2006 as his highlights at the ground he called his backyard.

Warne's is also the first statue to stand in the newly named Avenue of Legends which stretches from the MCC members gates to Jolimont Station.


Image: Shane Warne poses during the unveiling of the Shane Warne statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Photographs: Getty Images

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