Shane Warne’s cap raises R10m for bushfire appeal

Shane Warne during day 5 of the 3rd Test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on March 05, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Shane Warne during day 5 of the 3rd Test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on March 05, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images

Sydney - Cricket star Shane Warne’s “baggy green” cap sold at auction for more than Aus$1 million (almost R10-million) Friday, with all funds going to help victims of bushfires raging in Australia.

The spin legend wore the cap during his 145-Test career, in which he took more than 700 wickets, and said he was blown away after a late bidding war pushed the price to Aus$1,007,500.

It far exceeded the Aus$425,000 paid at auction for the cap belonging to the legendary Donald Bradman when that was sold for charity in 2003.

“Thank you so much to everyone that placed a bid & a huge Thank you/ congrats to the successful bidder — you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations,” he tweeted.

“The money will go direct to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

The Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s biggest lender, was revealed as the winning bidder.

Sports stars from around the world have stumped up memorabilia and cash to help pay for relief efforts in Australia’s unprecedented bushfire emergency.

Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton pledged $500,000 on Thursday, saying that he had been deeply saddened by reports that over a billion animals had been killed in the fires. 

Warne’s fellow cricketers Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short have also pledged to donate Aus$250 for every six they smash during the ongoing Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament.

Top tennis players have also got involved, with Serena Williams auctioning off a dress she wore on the court at this week’s WTA Auckland Classic.  A “Rally for Relief” exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne featuring Williams and Roger Federer is due to take place next week ahead of the Australian Open to raise further funds.

World number one Ashleigh Barty donated her winnings from this week’s Brisbane International to the Red Cross, although she was knocked out at the first hurdle.

Fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios, among others, has promised Aus$200 for each ace he serves during the home summer of tennis.

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