Warne's Baggy Green auction tops $1m for bushfire aid
Test legend's prized Baggy Green auctioned for more than $1 million in fundraiser for those affected by fires that have devastated Australia
10 January 2020, 10:24 AM AEST
Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne's Baggy Green cap has raised more than $1 million for victims of Australia's devastating bushfires, more than doubling the record price for a cap exclusively awarded to Australia's Test cricketers.
Warne, Australia's most prolific Test wicket-taker and arguably the greatest spin bowler of all time, sold his Baggy Green for $1,007,500 through an online auction today, with 100 per cent of the proceeds dedicated to bushfire victims.
Thankyou so much to everyone that placed a bid & a huge Thankyou / congrats to the successful bidder - you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations ! The money will go direct to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vyVcA7NfGs— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 9, 2020
The bidding was fierce between two people from Sydney, listed on the website as "MC" from Sydney and "WC" of Gordon, a suburb of Sydney.
The pair went head-to-head for the cap, making it a two-horse race as the price passed $700,000. Bidding had intensified as the price jumped from $700,000 to $860,000 in 30 frenetic minutes on Thursday night.
The bidding picked up again after 7am today, quickly rising to $990,500 where it stalled until a flurry of bids in the final 60 seconds of the auction pushed the price to $1,007,500 with "MC" of Sydney lodging the winning bid.
The auction had extended past 10am as under the rules of the site, time is extended if there are late bids.
Warne announced he was putting the cap up for auction last Monday at the SCG during the third Domain Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Please bid here https://t.co/kZMhGkmcxs pic.twitter.com/ZhpeWQxqY7— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 6, 2020
"The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all," Warne said.
"I hope my Baggy Green can raise some significant funds to help all those people who are in desperate need."
Australia fast bowling legend Jeff Thomson is also selling his Baggy Green cap and a knitted vest he wore while playing in the 1970s and 1980s to support bushfire victims. Bids for that set had reached $30,000 with 10 days still to run on the action.
The 50-year-old joins an army of cricketers raising money to a cause close to the hearts of millions of Australians during an unprecedented summer of bushfire tragedy, with KFC BBL players donating sums of money for sixes hit and wickets taken, and Australia's Test bowlers also following suit.
The price is a record for a Baggy Green cap, more than doubling the amount paid for one of Sir Donald Bradman's caps that fetched $425,000 when auctioned off for charity in 2003.
While the legend of Bradman remains incomparable, Warne could be considered a close second in terms of Australia's most celebrated cricketers.
It is unknown how many Baggy Green caps Warne received through his career, though he once gifted one to former media mogul and close friend, the late Kerry Packer.
The mystique around the Baggy Green cap has grown in recent eras, starting under the captaincy of Mark Taylor and famously increasing during the tenure of Steve Waugh, who was passionate about the headwear's legacy and helped make it perhaps the most treasured article of clothing in Australian sport.
Warne preferred to wear a white floppy hat in the field during his career but under Waugh's leadership, all Australian players would wear their Baggy Green caps in the opening session of a Test.