Australian star Shane Warne, one of the greatest bowlers of all time who revived the art of the leg spin, has died aged 52 after a suspected heart attack.
Arne – a larger-than-life character whose 708 Test wickets have been surpassed only by contemporary rival and fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan – could not be revived after he was found unresponsive at his villa in Thailand.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Shane Keith Warne passed away today, Friday, March 4, in Koh Samui, Thailand of a suspected heart attack,” his management company said in a statement.
The statement added: “Shane was found unresponsive at his mansion and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was unable to be resuscitated.
“The family is asking for privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
Warne – who was by far the leading wicket-taker when Australia won the 1999 World Cup and finished in 194 games with 293 one-day sending-offs – ended an illustrious 15-year international career in 2007.
Named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century alongside Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Viv Richards, Warne’s impact on the game is immediately apparent.
His broken legs, googlies, fins and sliders stunned many accomplished sluggers and England was often in his crosshairs. He won 195 wickets at 11:25 p.m. with 11 five-fors and four 10-wicket match hols against the old rivals.
But there was also an affinity for England, with Warne representing Hampshire with honors from 2000 to 2007.
While he was celebrated on the pitch, there was a darker side when he and Mark Waugh were fined for accepting money from a bookie while he was suspended for 12 months before the start of the 2003 World Cup after testing positive a diuretic had been tested.
On his return, however, he established his legacy, becoming the first bowler to reach 700 Test wickets before bowing out after helping Australia seal a 5–0 Ashes win in the 2006–07 series.
He continued to play on the Twenty20 franchise circuit before retiring from playing altogether in 2013. After that, he became known for his insight and outspoken opinion as a commentator and expert.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was coached by Warne in the Indian Premier League, wrote on Instagram: “Australian legend. @rajasthanroyal’s legend. Was an honor to know you and to work with you. This man is a LEGEND.”
Former England batter Ian Bell, who faced Warne in the famous Ashes series in 2005, wrote: “There are no words. A rising hero and the best player I’ve ever played against. I can not believe it.
“My thoughts are with his loved ones.”
England paid tribute to Warne on Twitter, adding: “One of the greatest of all time. A legend. A genius. You changed cricket. RIP Shane Warne.”
Former West Indian all-rounder Sir Viv Richards wrote: Unbelievable. I’m shaken to the core. This can not be true…
“Rest in Peace @ShaneWarne. There are no words to describe what I’m feeling right now. A great loss for cricket.”
Indian grandmaster Virender Sehwag called Warne “the man who made spin cool”.
Sehwag wrote on Twitter: “I can’t believe it. One of the biggest crackpots, the man who made Spin cool, superstar Shane Warne, is no more.
“Life is very fragile, but that is very difficult to fathom. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans around the world.”
Warne’s death came just hours after that of fellow Australian Rod Marsh, who died aged 74 – and Warne was among those paying tribute.
Current Australia promoted David Warner wrote on Twitter: “Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I am at a loss for words and that is very sad.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Marsh and Warne family. I just can’t believe it. #rip you are both missed.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cricket/legendary-australian-cricketer-shane-warne-passes-away-aged-52-41411885.html Legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne has died aged 52