Last year and before Shane Warne’s passing, Cricket Victoria inquired whether he would be happy for a stand to be renamed in his honour, and whether he’d prefer it to be the SK Warne Stand or the Shane Warne Stand.
The question was not in relation to the MCG, but the Junction Oval’s Kevin Murray Stand.
Warne’s preference, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion, was he preferred the ‘Shane Warne Stand’.
Early this summer Cricket Victoria completed an application for the renaming and sent it to Parks Victoria. The application remains with Parks Victoria.
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The issue is a sensitive one for a variety of reasons. Murray, 83, is an Australian Football Legend with a capital L.
He is a Brownlow medallist, nine-time Fitzroy best and fairest and was named at half-back in the AFL’s team of the century.
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As a result, Cricket Victoria have been respectful of his standing in the game, but pragmatic that the ground is now only used for cricket. Fitzroy Football Club played home games there from 1970-1984.
Fox Cricket understands that Murray was asked discreetly some years ago regarding a possible future change, he indicated he would be comfortable with it providing he could have the concrete plaque presently there or a replica for prosperity.
The stand, which two years ago received an exterior facelift after years of inactivity, was originally called the GP Newman when it was built in 1926. GP Newman was St Kilda’s Cricket Club’s secretary early in the 20th century.
The Junction Oval underwent a full renovation in 2016-17 after it was determined that the facilities were not up to a standard for first-class matches.
Warne, who rose through the ranks at St Kilda Cricket Club from their fourths before becoming an International superstar, advocated to the Brumby government for funding on behalf of Victorian cricket.
“We’re pretty passionate about it,” Warne said.
“As a life member of the St Kilda Cricket Club, I think back to the mid ’80s, driving across the ground to the Ross Gregory Oval and playing in the thirds. Managing to sneak up to the Junction Oval and play in the seconds was an amazing experience.
“To have young kids there and have the future for young kids to play at the Junction Oval at a world-class facility is really important.”
The wheels are in motion for the MCG’s Great Southern Stand to be renamed the SK Warne Stand.
Foxsports.com.au spoke to Victorian Sports Minister Martin Pakula on Saturday night, who said he’d been in contact with MCG Trust chair Steve Bracks since Warne’s passing.
It’s understood all parties are eager to progress with the renaming as soon as possible.
“I don’t want to talk through talk about the [renaming] process other than to say I had a conversation with Dan a couple of hours ago and he’s exchanged messages with Shane’s brother and whilst they might be a technical process that would normally be gone through, sometimes you need to dispense with that,” Mr Pakula said at lunchtime on Saturday.
“You need to respond in the way that I think the whole community would think is appropriate.”
The Junction Oval was St Kilda Football Club’s home from 1897-1964 before Fitzroy moved in.
Melbourne Football Club used it as a training base between 1985 and 2008. The final football game played on the oval before it was redeveloped was between Old Melburnians and Old Caulfield Grammarians in July, 2015.
Since then, it’s hosted women’s international cricket, state cricket, plus WBBL matches and a BBL game in January.