Cricket great Warne's gin distillery shifts to hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is in short supply in many countries battling coronavirus

Australian cricket great Shane Warne has halted production of gin at a distillery he co-owns to make medical-grade hand sanitiser for hospitals in these "challenging times".

The spin legend, who played 145 Tests, responded to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plea for companies to help wherever they can during the spiralling coronavirus crisis.

"This is a challenging time for Australians and we all need to do what we can to help our healthcare system combat this disease and save lives," Warne said on his Instagram page.

"I am happy SevenZeroEight has the ability to make this shift and encourage others to do the same."

Warne is a co-founder in the company alongside two prominent surgeons with an agreement in place to supply two Western Australian hospitals with hand sanitiser at cost.

The company halted gin production earlier this week and is now pumping out 70-percent alcohol hand sanitiser indefinitely.

"Great work Shane and team. We need leaders in the community to stand up -- you have always been and are one," said one of his social media followers.

It follows a similar move by a distillery in Ireland, with hand sanitiser in short supply in many countries battling the virus.

Australia has so far seen more than 750 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with seven deaths from the disease.

Hand sanitiser is in short supply in many countries battling coronavirus