Shane Warne’s baggy green cap raises $1m AUD for bushfire charity

Warne, widely regarded as one of history’s greatest cricketers, donated his baggy green cap — presented to Australian players when they make their Test debut — to an auction earlier this week to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
Commonwealth Bank has bought the cap, snapping it up with just a minute of the auction remaining, and has said it will take Warne’s cap on a national tour to raise money for communities impacted by the bushfires, before it becomes a permanent exhibit at the Bradman Museum.

The A$1,007,500 bid for the cherished memorabilia is more than twice the amount one of Don Bradman’s baggy greens made in 2003. Australian cricketer Bradman, who died in 2001, is thought of as the greatest batsman of all time and is a sporting icon in his homeland.

Responding on social media, Warne said: “Thank you so much to everyone that placed a bid and a huge thank you/congrats to the successful bidder — you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations!”

Warne was selected by Wisden, an Almanack often referred to as the ‘Bible of Cricket,’ as one of the five best cricketers of the last century. He is the second-most successful bowler in history, taking 708 wickets during his illustrious 145-Test career.

The 50-year-old is one of a number of sports stars to raise money for relief efforts. Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has pledged $500,000 to WIRES Wildlife Rescue, WWF Australia and the Rural Fire Service.

Meanwhile, tennis stars Nick Kyrgios, Roger Federer and Serena Williams will take part in a fundraising exhibition match in Melbourne next week.

At least 27 people have died nationwide during this fire season. Nearly 18 million acres of land has been burned — most of it bushland, forests and national parks, which are home to the country’s native wildlife.