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Warne’s old club honours cricketing icon

It was not quite the fairytale finish the St Kilda Cricket Club wanted, but they still paid fitting tribute to their greatest ever player.

St Kilda’s first division men’s team was vying for a qualifying final win on Saturday in honour of club alum Shane Warne.

But they fell short after a tough battle, losing to Casey-South Melbourne by two wickets.

“Shane was the greatest cricketer our club has produced in its 168-year history,” club president Paul Ryan said after the match.

“However, just as importantly he was also a great friend to many at our club and supporter of our club.

“Shane is, and will continue to be, greatly missed (but) we are very conscious that our loss needs to be kept in perspective with the devastation being felt by his children and family.”

Warne got his start at the club as a teenager in the 1980s, and won a premiership with them in the 1991-92 season.

Junction Oval, home to the St Kilda Cricket Club, was also where Warne made his first-class debut for Victoria in 1991.

Little more than two weeks ago, Warne died of a suspected heart attack on the Thai resort island of Koh Samui.

His death led to an outpouring of grief from people around the world, as well as those closer to home.

St Kilda Cricket Club coach Glenn Lalor told AAP about his time playing with Warne in the early 2000s.

“Every time Shane was available he would love coming back and playing with us, which was great,” Mr Lalor said.

“The boys appreciated playing with a legend.

“He was just an everyday bloke that just wanted to be around and enjoy the day. He was never hard to deal with, he was always fun.”

Warne will be bid farewell at a private family funeral in Melbourne on Sunday morning.

Warne’s three children, parents and close friends will be among those attending the service.

A state memorial will be held at the MCG on March 30, where the wider public will be able to pay their respects to an Australian icon.

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