Shane Warne Remembered As Cricket Immortal
One of Shane Warne's former foes Nasser Hussain has described the legendary legspinner as the greatest cricketer who ever lived.
More than 50,000 people are inside the MCG to farewell the Australian icon, who died suddenly aged 52 in Thailand on March 4.
Former Australian teammates and rivals are paying tribute to Warne at Melbourne's famous stadium in a state memorial service.
Ex-England captain Hussain, who Warne tormented during his 145-Test career, was blown away by his feats on the field.
Warne finished his career in 2007 with 708 Test wickets and was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the 20th century alongside Don Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards.
"The greatest cricketer who has ever played the game," Hussain told Fox Sports before the service began.
"Unbelievable cricketer and bloke."
In a panel discussion with former Australian stars Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Merv Hughes, and West Indies legend Brian Lara, Hussain told a story about Warne getting him out in a tri-series final in 1999.
"I sledged him for some apparent reason and I've said something 'like enjoy your last game as captain'," Hussain said.
"I'll be surprised if you haven't got the footage of me running down the pitch, very next delivery after that slog sweep and getting stumped.
"It was a privilege to be on a cricket field with you - you were the greatest bowler I ever saw."
Lara called Warne the "greatest Australian that I know".
Hughes recounted a story of Warne memorably honouring a promise for a kindergarten auction and praised his generosity.
"A very loyal friend, and as good as he was in the cricket field, he was five times better off it.
"Very loyal, and if he said he was going to do something, he would deliver."
Despite Warne and Steve Waugh famously falling out, the former Australian captain was seated at the memorial service alongside Adam Gilchrist.
Brett Lee, who played with Warne during a golden era for Australia, said there would never be anyone like him.
But Warne's sporting interests were not just confined to cricket, telegra.ph with AFL club St Kilda one of his great passions.
Retired Saints champion Nick Riewoldt was one of Warne's all-time favourite AFL players.
Riewoldt could not believe one of Australia's greatest sportspeople worshipped him.
"He was just a massive fan and enormous mentor to all St Kilda people."
The Great Southern Stand at the MCG will formally be unveiled as the Shane Warne Stand during the service.