As Australia look to secure their first Test series win over South Africa on home soil since 2005-06, cricket fans flocked to the MCG to honour the legacy of late bowling legend Shane Warne.

Victoria Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulous joined Cricket Australia chairperson Lachlan Henderson at the ground to encourage fans to wear Warnie’s iconic floppy hat and zinc as Day 1 of the second Test gets underway.

A line of cricket players look up at a stadium while tributes flow for a former legend
A plinth holding Shane Warne’s floppy hat was displayed during the national anthems before the second Test.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

The “King of Spin” had made the Boxing Day Test his own, notably claiming a hat-trick during the 1994 Ashes and taking his 700th wicket at the MCG 12 years later.

Before this Test match, the Australian and South African teams paid their respects wearing Warne’s signature floppy hats, ahead of the national anthem, while Warne’s own items were featured on a plinth as text flowed around the stadium’s electronic boards.

A close-up photo of a red cricket ball with a white floppy hat and baggy green in the background
Shane Warne’s iconic hats and red ball were displayed on the field during the anthems.(Getty Images: CA/Daniel Pockett)

“Shane is an icon to cricket fans globally for the greatness of his cricketing achievements, his charisma and his infectious enthusiasm for the game,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

“His place as a legend of Australian and world sport is assured. Whilst we continue to mourn his passing, it is fitting that we honour Shane at his beloved Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

“Shane became recognisable, not only through his genius and mastery of the art of leg spin, but also [for] his floppy hat and zinc. So we encourage fans to remember Shane [the same way].”

A group of cricket players wearing dark clothes and white hats gather in a circle
South Africa also wore floppy hats in honour of Warne.(Getty Images: CA/Daniel Pockett)

Warne’s Test cap number, 350, was also painted on grass square of the wicket, while a graphic of the Victorian great will be displayed on the MCG’s big screen at 3:50pm followed by a special highlights package.

On Monday morning, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) announced that the Men’s Test Player of the Year award will be renamed the Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year at the annual Cricket Awards on January 30.

Cricket fans took to social media to post their own tributes, including hand-made signs, iconic shirts and DIY floppy hats as cricket remembers the legacy of one of its greatest ever figures.

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