Monday, 30th October 2017

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Shane Warne’s baggy green beats Don’s

Leggie’s cap raises $1m towards Australian bushfire aid

By Agencies in Sydney
  • Published 11.01.20, 2:44 AM
  • Updated 11.01.20, 3:11 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The spin legend wore the cap during his 145-Test career, in which he took more than 700 wickets. Warne said he was blown away after a late bidding war pushed the price to A$1,007,500. (Wikimedia Commons)

Shane Warne’s baggy green cap was sold at an auction for more than A$1 million (nearly $700,000) on Friday, with all funds going to help victims of bushfires raging in Australia.

The spin legend wore the cap during his 145-Test career, in which he took more than 700 wickets. Warne said he was blown away after a late bidding war pushed the price to A$1,007,500.

It far exceeded the A$425,000 paid at an auction for the cap belonging to the legendary Donald Bradman when that was sold for charity in 2003.

“Thank you so much to everyone that placed a bid & a huge Thank you/ congrats to the successful bidder — you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations,” he tweeted. “The money will go direct to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

The Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s biggest lender, was revealed as the winning bidder.

Chief executive Matt Comyn said the cap would go on a tour of the country to raise more money before being donated to the Bradman Museum in Bowral, southwest of Sydney, where it will remain on permanent exhibit.

“I want to thank and commend Shane for giving up one of his most cherished possessions for such an important cause,” he said. “He has demonstrated the same Aussie spirit we are seeing across the country with acts of generosity and dedication throughout this disaster.”

The baggy green is awarded to Australian players when they make their Test debut and is worn as a badge of pride. Warne decided to put the cap up for auction on Monday to help those who have suffered in the catastrophic fires that have devastated parts of the country and left at least 26 people dead and almost 2,000 homes destroyed.

“The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief. The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all,” he wrote on Instagram.

Australia’s limited overs captain Aaron Finch said cricket is “insignificant” compared to the bushfires raging in his country at the moment, seeking to bring smiles back on the faces of those affected by the tragedy.

Sports stars from around the world have stumped up memorabilia and cash to help pay for the relief efforts. Reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton pledged $500,000 on Thursday, saying that he had been deeply saddened by reports that over a billion animals had been killed in the fires.

“I’m pledging $500k to support the animals, wildlife volunteers and rural fire services. If you are able to, and you haven’t already then you can donate too.”

Top tennis players have also got involved, with Serena Williams auctioning off a dress she wore on the court at this week’s WTA Auckland Classic.