Warne and the Don: their Baggy Green connection
Shane Warne's Baggy Green cap raised more than $1m for bushfire victims, and has now joined Don Bradman's on permanent display in Bowral
27 August 2020, 07:32 PM AEST
Shane Warne's Baggy Green cap, which raised more than $1 million for victims of Australia's devastating bushfires, has arrived at its final destination at the Bradman Museum in Bowral.
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 in January, with 100 per cent of the proceeds dedicated to bushfire victims.
The cap was bought by the Commonwealth Bank, who planned to take it on a nationwide tour to raise further funds. The cap was displayed at schools, cricket clubs and community centres around Australia, culminating in a display at the T20 World Cup final won by Australia in March before the coronavirus pandemic saw the tour cut short.
Originally due to arrive at the Bradman Museum in April, it was unveiled today on the 112th anniversary of Sir Donald Bradman's birth.
Caps wore by Warne and Bradman will sit side by side as the centrepiece of the museum's exhibition of Baggy Green headwear.
The Baggy Green Exhibition hosts 30 caps worn by Australian legends, with caps from the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer and Mark Taylor from Warne's era, as well as women's icons Belinda Clark and Christina Matthews, and past greats Victor Trumper and Bradman himself.
"All of us were touched by the loss of our devastating bushfires and how it affected so many," Warne said in a statement today.
"For me, I thought, 'What can I do to help?' I decided to auction my cherished Baggy Green cap and was absolutely blown away for how much it went for."
Thankyou so much for the amazing support Matt and to everyone at the CBA too. Very grateful for your amazing generosity. I’m very proud we could raise so much money and help so many people in desperate need ! #PROUD ❤️ https://t.co/pS7WhsiLjL— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) August 27, 2020
Warne's cap more than doubled the record price for a Baggy Green when it was sold in January. The previous record was 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.
Sir Don Bradman was away from 🏏 for several years due to World War II, yet has the highest Test batting average. Today, with concerns about athletes’ form due to uncertainties & long breaks, his career stands even taller as a source of inspiration. Happy birthday Sir Don. pic.twitter.com/Q735mlJMvk— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 27, 2020
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.
CommBank has a long history of supporting cricket, which the purchase of Warne's Baggy Green and donation to the Bradman Museum has added to.
CommBank have been partners with Cricket Australia for more than 30 years, and supporters of the women's team for the past 21.
In recent times they have extended their support to Indigenous, multicultural, disabled and LGBTI community cricket initiatives through CA's 'A Sport For All' program.
With CommBank's support, Australia's Blind, Deaf and Intellectual Disability teams are now fully funded, and the bank is the principal partner of CA's 'Growing Cricket for Girls Fund'.