When Shane Warne was in charge after hours, there was always a story to tell.
But the cricket legend might have outdone himself on one fateful night in Cape Town, South Africa, back in March 2006.
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The Aussie Test team had just secured a 2-0 lead in a three-match series with the Proteas at Newlands and, with the series victory locked away, were ready to sing the team song, Under The Southern Cross I Stand.
After a few beers in the changerooms, some of the Aussie brains trust thought they’d get a bit creative on where they could sing it.
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Table Mountain sits just a stone’s throw away from from the Newlands ground, offering a picturesque backdrop that the suddenly ambitious Aussie cricketers couldn’t resist.
So it was settled: they’d sing the song on top of the mountain, overlooking Cape Town.
The only problem now, was getting up to the top in the middle of the night when cable cars weren’t running.
Shane Warne was the mastermind behind a wild story. Credit: Getty
Enter Warne, as Adam Gilchrist recalled on Browny’s Podcast.
“We got a bus, Warnie made a few calls, it was about midnight,” Gilchrist said.
“The cable car that goes up the Table Mountain in Cape Town — for those who’ve been there, it’s stunning — but it’s midnight, it’s all shut down.
“Warnie, couple of phone calls, next minute, the operator’s up there cranking up the big cable car.”
But they didn’t do things in halves the Aussie boys.
After filing into a little cable car that wasn’t meant to be running, Matthew Hayden stripped all of his clothes off, opened the manhole latch cut into the roof of the car, and climbed up on top of the moving machine.
A fully clothed Matthew Hayden at a famous 2006 Boxing Day Test, Shane Warne’s last game at the MCG. Credit: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
His teammates soon followed and suddenly the great Australian Test cricket team of the mid 2000s — one of them naked — were standing on top of a moving cable car in Cape Town, South Africa.
“We go up, but not in the cable car — on top of it, which is ridiculous, we were all hammered. Ridiculous,” Gilchrist said.
AFL great Campbell Brown asked: “Not secured?”
Gilchrist scoffed: “Nah. There was this one little wire (protecting us).
“And Haydos was prone to a nude bomb occasionally — naked, Matty Hayden just with the Aussie flag (draped around him), which wasn’t a great sight.”
Thankfully, the players made it to the top of the mountain safe and sound, and got to sing a memorable song with a stunning view of the city — hopefully, fully clothed.
The wild celebrations didn’t seem to affect their performance too much either, as they went on to win the third Test and sweep the series.
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