A tinge of sadness to Australian sporting auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th August, 2022

A nostalgic sporting memorabilia auction tinged with sadness is the predominant feeling behind Leski Auctions forthcoming Melbourne sale from 10am Tuesday August 23 at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.

One of the major highlights is Shane Warne’s batting helmet he wore during his first Ashes tour of England in 1993 (lot 271).

Warne, who died tragically on March 4 this year from a heart attack aged 52, took 708 Test wickets for Australia during his 15-year career from 1992-2007 as a leg spin bowler.

During the 1993 six-Test Ashes tour, Warne was the leading wicket taker with 34 wickets – including the legendary “Ball of the Century” where he dismissed an astounded Mike Gatting first ball on the second day of the First Test at Old Trafford with a leg-break that pitched outside leg then spun viciously to clip the off-stump.

As bad luck would have it legendary Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh died on the same day aged 74.

In a long and distinguished Test career from 1970-71 to 1983-84, Marsh (nicknamed Bacchus and Iron Gloves) took 343 catches and scored 3633 runs including three centuries.

His circa 1984 Test jumper endorsed “Rod M” (lot 263) and acquired by the vendor at a cricket club dinner in Perth after Marsh donated it as the major prize in a fund-raising raffle is another of the nostalgic highlights – along with a custom crafted golf putter (lot 300) that belonged to another Australian Test cricketer, the late Dean Jones (1961-2020), who played 52 Tests from 1984 to 1992 and scored 3631 runs.

The auction also is notable for the Graham McKenzie collection (lots 154-236) that celebrates the sporting life of one of Australia’s most successful fast bowlers.

Now 81 years old, McKenzie was selected aged 19 for the 1961 Ashes tour of England and, following an injury to captain the late Richie Benaud, made his debut as a third seamer in the Lords Test – scoring 34 at number 10 and taking 5/37 in England’s second innings including the prize wickets of Ted Dexter and captain Peter May.

In 60 Tests from 1961-1971, McKenzie, who succeeded Alan Davidson as Australia’s premier fast bowler, took 246 wickets including five in an innings 16 times and 10 in a match on three occasions.

McKenzie’s collection includes his Test baggy green cap from the 1965 West Indies tour (lot 198) and that of former Australian captain Ian Chappell from the 1965-66 Ashes series (lot 201).

Other collection drawcards McKenzie’s 1963-64 South African Test series  blazer (lot 190) and a signed team photo from the 1961 Ashes tour (lot 173).

Another black and white photograph (lot 174) depicts his dismissal of Colin Cowdrey – his first Test wicket – at Lords.

Lot 211 is a cased gold medal presented to McKenzie after his Rest of the World team was victorious against both England and Pakistan in the 1967 Rothman’s World Cup.

A collection of Scanlens footballers posters (lots 561-584) features Hawthorn full forward great Peter Hudson (lot 579) among a host of Victorian Football League stars. 

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