Australian cricket legend Shane Warne’s baggy green cap has been snapped up by the Commonwealth Bank for more than $1 million at auction to aid those affected by bushfires.
When bidding closed on Friday morning (AEDT), the famous cap was sold for $1,007,500 to an unidentified bidder known only as “MC”.
He took to social media to thank the bidder, saying he was “blown away” by their generosity, and it was “way beyond” his expectations.
By 2.30pm on Friday, the CBA’s chief executive officer Matt Comyn announced it had “secured Shane’s cherished baggy green cap”.
“I am delighted that CBA has been able to secure Shane’s cherished baggy green cap. This has not only raised another $1 million for bushfire relief, it will also enable us to raise further funds.
“I want to thank and commend Shane for giving up one of his most cherished possessions for such an important cause. He has demonstrated the same Aussie spirit we are seeing across the country with acts of generosity and dedication throughout this disaster as communities rally to support each other.”
The 50-year-old is Test cricket’s second-most successful bowler behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan who took 800 wickets.
Bidding on Warne’s cap reached $1 million two minutes before the original 10am deadline.
The auction was extended for almost 10 minutes because of a late flurry of bids.
Warne joined the unprecedented fundraising effort on January 6 when he announced he was putting his prized baggy green up for auction.
Cricket fans from around the world bid on Warne’s Test cap throughout the week, and all proceeds to be donated to the Australian Red Cross to help those affected by fires around the country.
The item would rank among the most valuable mementos from the decorated career of Australia’s all-time leading wicket-taker.
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
Sir Donald Bradman’s baggy green sold for approximately $420,000 in 2003.
Bidding for Warne’s cap, which will come with an autographed certificate of authenticity, hit $200,000 just one hour after opening on Monday.
The baggy green is presented to Australian players when they make their Test debut.
Warne, who joins Ash Barty, Daniel Ricciardo and many others on a long list of high-profile members of Australia’s sporting community to announce fund-raising measures, suggested it was the least he could do.
“The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief,” Warne said.
“The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all. Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died.
“Some of the images we’re seeing are absolutely horrific.”
The CBA will take the baggy green on a national tour before it becomes a permanent exhibit at the Bradman Museum in Bowral in NSW.
Collingwood star Dayne Beams also announced on Monday he was putting his 2010 AFL premiership medal up for auction to raise funds for bushfire victims.
Barty pledged to donate her prize money from this year’s Brisbane International to help bushfire victims but she lost her opening match on Thursday, diminishing her winnings significantly.
F1’s Daniel Ricciardo is auctioning a race suit from the Australian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton has donated $500,000 to held care for wildlife caught up in the bushfires, according to Nine’s Wide World of Sports.
Thinking of everyone affected by our fires 🙏🏼 any help will go a long way @redcrossau @wireswildliferescue
Posted by Daniel Ricciardo on Saturday, January 4, 2020
A stack of cricketers are donating sums of money based on how many sixes they hit or wickets they claim in this summer’s Big Bash League.
Australia’s Test attack pledged $1000 per wicket in the third match against New Zealand at the SCG.