Nostalgic Australian cricket memorabilia attracts plenty of attention

A piece of nostalgic sporting history went under the hammer at Leski Auctions July 23 sporting memorabilia Melbourne sale when Shane Warne’s batting helmet from his first Ashes tour of England in 1993 (lot 271) was sold for $8500 hammer price.

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 that changed hands for $6500 on a $1000-$1500 catalogue estimate.

The top selling lot was former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell’s Baggy Green cap from the 1965-66 Ashes series against England (lot 201) that brought $12,500 – well below the $20,000-$30,000 estimate.

Part of former Australian Test fast bowler Graham McKenzie’s collection, the interior label is marked ‘CHAPPELL’. The cap was exchanged with McKenzie because the initial cap sizes were incorrect and also bears his signature on the interior lining.

McKenzie’s Baggy Green from the 1965 West Indies tour of Australia (lot 198) was a strong performer – going under the hammer for its top catalogue estimate of $10,000. The West Indies won the series 2-1 with McKenzie appearing in all five Tests taking 17 wickets including 5 for 33 in the second innings of the Fifth Test to give Australia its only win.

Other top 10 performers include McKenzie’s 1977-79 signed World Series cricket cap that sold for $5500 (lot 228) and his 1967 Rothman’s World Cup gold medal (lot 211) for $4000.

The medal was presented to members of the victorious Rest of the World Team which defeated England and Pakistan in the tri-nation 50-over series.

Melbourne Cricket Club membership fobs for 1901-02 (undated), 1904-05, 1906-07 and 1909-10 (lot 59) collectively brought $3800.

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