As Srilanka get ready to take on Australia, the host nation are gearing up to give a fitting tribute to the late legend Shane Warne. Both the Test matches between Sri Lanka and Australia will be played in Galle, the ground where Warne had accomplished the milestone of 500 Test wickets at the same location in 2004, which also happened to be his final visit of the island nation in whites.
Warne passed away unexpectedly at the age of 53 following a heart attack on March 4 this year while on vacation in Thailand. Sri Lanka Cricket’s effort to devote the first test to his memory will undoubtedly be a very melancholy event.
“The Sri Lankan cricket establishment’s gesture is one of recognising Warne as a true friend of Sri Lanka who came to the country’s aid during the 2004 Tsunami devastation by personally flying over and visiting affected areas and making generous donations, especially to homeless cricketer families. This writer had the privilege of having a word with the legend on that occasion when he visited the Moratuwa Cricket Stadium where several teenage cricketers were lined up in a guard of honour. He did voice that he was concerned about the welfare of Sri Lankans affected and as much saddened by the devastation of the Galle Stadium,” SLC in a statement said.
Also, Shane Warne’s family has been invited to join the ceremony that would begin just before the commencement of the first Test.
On addition to having an impressive track record with the ball in the island country, Warne also had an influence through his humanitarian work. The former leg-spinner made a huge contribution to the nation’s recovery by personally visiting the nation in the wake of the devastating tsunami in 2004.
The Galle International Cricket Stadium will host the opening match of the two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, which is a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2021–23 cycle. The second Test match will take place there from July 8–12 as well. The previous ODI series had been won by Sri Lanka 4-1, making it their first ever home series victory against Australia.