Thousands farewell cricket legend Warne
Published: Mar 30, 2022 08:42 PM
Shane Warne was remembered as a "genius" at a state memorial service at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday attended by tens of thousands of spectators and legendary players, with music stars including Elton John performing by video link. 

The well-loved Australian cricketer died at a luxury resort in Thailand this month from a suspected heart attack aged 52, eliciting shock and grief from his millions of fans as well as prime ministers, rock stars and fellow players.

The larger-than-life "king of spin" was being honored in a two-hour service in front of about 50,000 fans that was beamed live to cricket grounds across Australia and watched around the world.

A stand at the MCG was to be officially renamed after Warne, who in the eyes of many is second only to Donald Bradman in Australia's long list of sporting greats. 

Some fans attending wore their cricket kit, while others donned Warne T-shirts.

Emotions ran high as they snapped pictures in front of his statue outside the MCG.

One woman showed off her new thigh tattoo of Warne, which she had done last week. 

Mark Taylor, who captained Warne for Australia, said the huge interest showed "how admired Shane Warne was."

Credited with reviving the art of leg-spin, Warne took 708 Test wickets as part of a dominant Australian team in the 1990s and 2000s before becoming a respected commentator.

Before the state service, Warne's family, friends and teammates mourned him at a private funeral on March 20.