Nationwide hunt for Australian sporting legend’s missing ‘baggy green’

David Warner of Australia checks out the pitch ahead of the Third Test Match between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 01, 2024 in Sydney, Australia.

David Warner checks out the pitch ahead of the third Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 1, 2024.Mark Evans/Getty ImagesCNN — 

It’s baggy and green and at the time of writing it’s still missing, despite pleas for its safe return from the Australian prime minister, a top cricketer and the star’s father, who says it’s likely been stolen by a “scumbag.”

The mystery of the missing “baggy green” cap emerged on Tuesday when Australia opening batsman David Warner turned to social media for help after the hat disappeared during transit on national carrier Qantas.

“Unfortunately, this is my last resort to do this,” Warner said in an Instagram video that has since gone viral.

For the uninitiated, a baggy green is a cap given to Australia Test cricketers in a tradition spanning more than a century.

Not only an iconic symbol of the sport, they’re also incredibly valuable. Before his death in 2022, former Australia spinner Shane Warne sold his for more than a million Australian dollars ($676,000).

On Tuesday, a clearly distraught Warner said the cap was in a backpack along with presents for his daughters, but all had disappeared during transit from Melbourne to Sydney for Wednesday’s Test match against Pakistan.

The cap’s loss couldn’t have come at a worse time – Warner had planned to wear it as he ran onto the Sydney Cricket Ground for the final Test match of his career.

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Someone’s taken my backpack out of my actual luggage … inside this backpack was my baggy green. That’s sentimental to me. It’s something that I would love to have back in my hands,” Warner said in the Instagram video.

The player’s plight was heard by Pakistan captain Shan Masood, who called for “a countrywide search right now from the Australian government.”

“We might need the best detectives to get that back because (Warner) is a great ambassador (for the sport) and deserves every bit of respect and celebration for his unbelievable career,” Masood said in a pre-match news conference.

It appeared Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese may have been listening, because he began his first news briefing of the year Wednesday with a special mention of the cap – and an appeal for its return.

“David Warner has represented Australia on more than one hundred occasions. The baggy green caps belong to him. He has earned them and they should be returned,” Albanese said.

With what feels like the entire country holding its breath, Warner’s father, Howard, predicted it was only a matter of time before the cap resurfaces.

Speaking to local radio, he said: “Whatever scumbag has taken (the baggy green) is going to have to lay it off very shortly. They’ll find it dumped somewhere.”

The hat wasn’t found before Wednesday and instead Warner wore a replacement cap for his final Test outing.

The left-hander announced his retirement from Test and one-day international cricket ahead of the Pakistan encounter. It is his 112th Test match for Australia.

Despite his on-field accolades – the most recent highlight being his leading role in Australia’s World Cup win last year – Warner is also considered a divisive character having been involved in the “sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018.

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