Shane Warne to close charitable foundation

Shane Warne (File)
Shane Warne (File)

Melbourne - Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne's charitable foundation announced on Friday it would close after a consumer watchdog launched a probe into its financial affairs.

The charity hit out at "unwarranted speculation" over "its distribution of funds" following local media reports that most of the money it raised went on expenses such as for staging events.

Warne, the charity's chairperson, has complained about "malicious attacks and false allegations" in a Facebook post.

Consumer Affairs Victoria said Sunday it had ordered an independent audit into the foundation's fundraising activities, with the regulator saying the financial information submitted by the charity had been insufficient.

In the Facebook statement announcing its imminent closure, the charity defended its financial performance.

"In response to recent, unwarranted speculation about The Shane Warne Foundation and its distribution of funds, we confirm we have distributed $3.6m to date with an additional and final substantial cheque to be distributed on March 18, 2016," it said.

"At that time, we hope to have distributed over $4m dollars. All accounts have been fully audited by KPMG, and our final accounts will also be audited for the March 18th cheque presentation."

Warne has previously said the foundation has donated an average of 50 percent of money raised over 12 years, according to reports.

He launched an outspoken attack on the foundation's critics in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"Go through everything you want at anytime as we have nothing to hide," he wrote.

"The foundation puts on events to raise money pure and simple like all charities do, but unfortunately some events just don't raise as much funds as we would like."

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