Shane Warne & Brian Lara before the start of play Aust vs West Indies at the Gabba - First Test day one - 3.11.05 PicDavidKapernick
Shane Warne & Brian Lara before the start of play Aust vs West Indies at the Gabba - First Test day one - 3.11.05 PicDavidKapernick

Should MCG name grandstand after Warnie?

Cricket legend Brian Lara has called for spin king Shane Warne to have a grandstand named in his honour at the MCG.

In a quirk of sporting recognition, Warne has a grandstand named after him in England but not at the iconic home ground he made his own for Victoria and Australia.

West Indies great Lara ­believes it would be fitting for one of the MCG stands to bear Warne's name, in addition to a statue already honouring the leg-spinner outside the ground.

"I know he's got one in ­England, so I don't know why it hasn't happened here yet,'' he said.

"He's had a tremendous ­career - the greatest spinner to play the game.''

The MCG currently boasts the Olympic Stand, Members Pavilion, Great Southern Stand and the Ponsford Stand.

Any move to honour Warne at the MCG would most likely see the Great Southern Stand renamed.

MCC spokeswoman Prue Cichello said the spin king statue outside Gate 2 was "an everlasting tribute to Warne's great achievements in cricket and, more specifically, his spectacular performances at the MCG''.

"We are not at present considering any new names for the MCG grandstands,'' she said.

But with English county club Hampshire opening the Shane Warne Stand in 2012, Lara said his "great mate'', one of Wisden's five greatest cricketers of the century, should be better honoured at the 'G.

Shane Warne has already been honoured with a statue outside gate two at the MCG.
Shane Warne has already been honoured with a statue outside gate two at the MCG.

"How lucky I am to be a part of that era when you're talking about players like Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Murali, Glenn McGrath and Curtly Ambrose?'' he said.

Lara's call for a Warne stand at the MCG came as the batting great also suggested Melbourne consider a historic Boxing Day day-night Test.

He said starting the Melbourne Test later and finishing under lights would bring bigger entertainment appeal to the fixture and increase its reach to overseas TV viewers.

"The entertainment side of the game is the most important,'' he said.

 

 

"Of course the player's safety and general future has to be taken into consideration, you have administrators, you have sponsors, but at the end of the day every sports person should look at themselves as an entertainer.

"And if it means a day-night Test match, whatever it takes to get the crowds in.''

Lara, who has donated his three highest scoring bats to the MCG to display for six months from December 9, said finishing the Boxing Day Test after dark would be "a great spectacle.''

News Corp Australia

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