The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has tweeted a tribute to Warne. “Totally shocked and saddened to hear about Shane Warne – a cricketing genius and one of the nicest guys you could meet, who also did a lot to help disadvantaged kids into sport.”
The Cricket Australia chief executive, Nick Hockley, who is currently in Pakistan for the Test series, said: “Shane was one of the most talented and charismatic cricketers we have ever witnessed. He loved cricket, had an extraordinarily astute understanding of the game and his influence and legacy will last for as long as it is played.
“We are in a state of complete shock at his sudden passing and our thoughts are with his family, his many friends and the legion of fans from all over the world who loved and admired Warnie for his unbelievable bowling skills, his humour, warmth and engaging personality.”
Thanks, Luke. I’ll start with more of your lovely tributes to Shane Warne; please keep them coming.
“As a cricket fan from Pakistan who grew up watching him, Warne epitomised Australian cricket. Larger than life, feisty, masterful, and near unbeatable. Cricket has lost a true ambassador of the game” – Hamza Tariq.
“‘Warnie’ became as much part of our sports discourse as Brits as it did for the Aussies. Not sure I can think of many Aussie sports stars that crossed that divide – which says a lot about the man” – Tom Palmer.
“I’d just finished reading the obituary of Rod Marsh – truly sad news, but this hit me like a steam train. Possibly the last true cricket hero of the free to air era here in England” – Jezz Nash.
Thank you for all the tributes you have emailed and tweeted. My colleague Niall McVeigh is here to take over the blog, so please keep the tributes coming. As a cricket fan I must say: thank you Shane Warne.
Another nice line from Mike Gatting on the ‘Ball of the Century’ from a previous documentary: “My partner at the other end said: ‘If it was a cheese roll, I wouldn’t have let it pitch.’ That was Mr Gooch.”
The shockwaves are not confined to Australia. Shane Warne, like Rod Marsh, was a global presence in cricket. We were all trying to come to terms with the loss of Marsh, reading the torrent of tributes including this one from Warne, which suddenly acquired a haunting quality: “Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game and an inspiration to so many young boys and girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket and gave so much – especially to Australia and England players.” Then the second thunderbolt struck and this time without any warning.
Mike Selvey, the Guardian’s cricket correspondent, was there to witness Shane Warne’s stunning entry into Test cricket in England on 2 June 1993. The “ball of the century” tag came later, but Selvey was in no doubt of its impact. This report appeared in the next day’s Guardian with the headline “England Warne down and put in a spin”.
“Gatting, perhaps suspecting a tabloid stitch-up or at the very least subterfuge from the wicketkeeper (not possible because Ian Healy was clueless too and groping down the leg side at the time), stood his ground, not in dissent or disappointment, but in total, utter disbelief before hauling himself away. He had every right. With that one remarkable delivery Warne has carved his name in cricket folklore.”
James Hopkin: “Warne was also extraordinary in the commentary box, his love of the game beaming through with his unrivalled readings of the play – riveting in themselves – and his indefatigable humour and good will The unfairest of dismissals! He really should have gone on to equal his top test score of 99.
Neil Fullerton: “I want to echo one of your other readers’ sentiments that it feels ridiculous to feel so stunned by the death of someone I have met or saw in the flesh. The thought that someone who seemed to radiate such energy and love of life could suddenly be gone just doesn’t seem possible. Like so many other readers have said, Shane Warne was the reason I wanted to pick up a ball and start bowling. In my memory I spent the whole of the summer of ’93 trying to get a tennis ball to do the things I’d seen Shane do on the TV. To me, he is up there with Michael Jordan in terms of sportsmen who transcended their sports … As an England cricket fan, you were terrified to see him come on to bowl, but you were secretly glad he was because you knew it really meant something to get the better of this man (not that it happened very often).”
Julian Dismore: “As the Rajasthan Royals’ in-house videographer I filmed with Shane Warne many times between 2008 and 2012. I just can’t believe the news about him passing away. The man was a sporting genius, charisma personified and such amazing company. I’m incredulous – he was just 52 and had so much still to give. We might have got off to a tricky start, he didn’t really want a cameraman hanging around and distracting the team, but once we’d bonded on the dance floor he couldn’t have been kinder. We had so many laughs. He will be missed terribly – and never forgotten. A true legend.”
Andrew Strauss is speaking to Sky: “He was literally the greatest showman … No one played the game the way he did. The flamboyance, the enthusiasm for the game, the incredible competitive spirit that he had, and those extraordinary skills that he had in those fingers of his … you were playing the grand master of the game and he made you know it, as well.
“[Facing him] was a living, breathing nightmare … you’re playing to his tune. That was his great skill. He was the poker player, the psychologist, as well as mastering that skill of leg spin bowling. I came out on the wrong end many times against him … and the one or two I did get runs against him, that’s going down as the highlight of my career.
“He was an extraordinary human being, he really was … he loved nothing more to go out for a night and talk about the game of cricket … incredible company, you would never have a better night out than you would with Shane Warne … he had a great generosity of spirit … he was the greatest promoter of the sport than you can possibly get.
“If you look at the greatest cricketer, there’s Don Bradman, and then there’s Shane Warne … we’re remembering how we went about his cricket … the ability to laugh at yourself and have a bit of a joke … that’s what we all loved about Shane Warne.”
Michael Vaughan on Instagram: “It just doesn’t feel real to be talking about someone who once was an enemy on the pitch to one who became a great friend off it. I am absolutely gutted to have a lost a great friend .. one thing is for sure Heaven will be a lively place now the King has arrived.”
“Without a doubt, he is No 1 ever,” Gatting told Sky Sports. “There has been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great leg-spinners but Warnie will always be certainly from my point of view the No 1.” On the famous delivery, Gatting added: “The nice thing is he always said ‘thanks for that, mate, it started my career off’. All I could say was ‘it was a bit too good for me’ like many others who would suffer the same fate.” (PA)
One of the most notable things about the Ball of the Century was the batsman that received it. Gatting was a fine player of spin – in fact he viewed most of them dismissively. He thought spinners were there to be milked for relatively easy runs, or to be smashed out of the attack altogether, and he often did both batting for Middlesex at Lord’s where I grew up watching him captain the side. And then Shane Warne turned up, and changed the game with a single delivery.
Phil Simmons, West Indies coach, has spoken to Sky Sports News: “It’s a sad day for cricket. I played against Warney earlier, when he just started, on the 1992 tour … his legacy and his genius speaks for itself in how he transformed leg spin bowling and cricket on the whole. He had a big impact in all cricket … the way he did things, he did it a lot different to everybody else, and got results.
“I remember him playing against us and his battles with Brian Lara in the Test series down there [in Australia] … I hope he’s remembered in that way, that he brought new aspects to the game of cricket. Nothing was a barrier … in cricket in general … people at Rajasthan [where Warne coached in the IPL] still speak about the different way they played and how they prepared.”
Charles Bickford: “Watching my son get gripped by cricket and particularly leg spin has been a beautiful, bright spot this dark summer. How well I remember my own first summer when cricket bit – and how it became a companion throughout my life.
“He’s shown a natural aptitude for it, and a strong work ethic. We’ve been in the nets most mornings before school this summer – weather permitting. It’s been a time travelling experience into the world of young men for me – as the summer progressed we were joined by various local kids and their talk of players past and present, ball types and arguments over 6s and catches. The mind games of Shane Warne. Last week he found he can try out for a Victorian U12 team. My mum framed the letter. I catch him watching old cricket videos all the time. Warnie’s voice drifts downstairs describing how to bowl a flipper.
“I was awoken by the rain just now at 3:30am in Melbourne – that weird vector where I often wake – 12 hours before/after I collect him from school. Five hours before this week’s match is due to start – the absurdly large club kit bag in the car outside. This time the rain carries the message that the game, the last of this season will be cancelled – and it is almost a relief as I don’t think we could possibly know what to do on the field with this awful, awful news.”
“I’m an Australian living in London. I am absolutely devastated,” emails Ryan Meade. “It’s like a living nightmare and just feels even more cruel given the awful state of things in Ukraine and in Australia with the terrible floods. I’m 35. My childhood was as good as it gets watching Warne bowl throughout his whole career. I watched his documentary a couple weeks ago and I’m so saddened for his children who he clearly adored. RIP Shane Warne. The greatest cricketer of all time. I miss him already.”
Heath McGay: “Having finished work and dealing with the news of the passing of Rod “Bacchas” Marsh, a bonafide icon from Western Australia was bad enough. To hear a few hours later the news of the passing of Shane Warne makes it a very sad day for cricket tragics in Australia and the sporting world in general. As a Gen X-er, I was raised as a kid on a diet of “Caught Marsh, Bowled Lillee”. And as then as a young adult growing up with Warnie starting his career as someone who could “work out alright” as a leggie, to end up an absolute champion of the sport, is breaking my heart. Thankfully online videos of two of my cricketing idols have helped numb the pain, but the passing of two of the greats of Australian cricket within 24 hours has been very difficult to deal with. We all mourn their passing in our own way, and our hearts go out to their families. The industry will never forget their legacies on the sport, and neither will the sporting public in general.”
Neil Thompson: “It’s utterly daft of course that I feel so flat and sad at the death of someone I never met. It’s just testament to his charisma that he made himself feel like a mate. On the field his personality was part of his success. Once he realised he was so good he was irrepressible. He could perk up the dullest cricket and was always interesting, positive and with such an apparent love of life. A big light has gone out.”
The former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock is having a chat with Sky Sports: “He was a magician … it was pure theatre … he was obviously immensely confident in his own ability, but he was good fun too … He was such a passionate individual.”
He is asked for his favourite memories: “I don’t think there were too many ‘favourite’ when he played against him …”
The Australia captain Pat Cummins speaks: “Warney was an all-time great … we loved so much about Warney. His showmanship, his charisma, his tactics, the way he willed himself and the team to win games for Australia … and probably above all else his incredible skill as a leg spinner.
“So many guys in this team and squad who still hold him as a hero, their all-time favourite player. The loss that we’re all trying to wrap our heads around is huge.
“It’s been a really tough couple of days for Australian cricket, after the passing of Rod [Marsh], we just wish the best to both families …
“The game was never the same after Warney emerged and the game will never be the same after his passing. Rest in peace, King.”
“Perhaps a fitting tribute to this greatest of cricketers is that it is almost impossible to imagine our game without him. His magnetism, skill and sheer sense of theatre shaped a global generation’s love of the sport. He inspired millions. He made us watch. He let us fall in love and truly appreciate what had been a fading art. And perhaps best of all, he somehow, somehow always had us secretly wanting him to bowl – despite our knowledge that a short spell from this larrakin grand master could rip any given game away from us in minutes.
“He will be celebrated and memorialised on village grounds from Yorkshire to Melbourne as close fielders exclaim “bowling Warney” to every half decent delivery a leg spinner bowls. Thank you Shane, you were one of a kind. Harrogate Casuals CC.”
“I never imagined that anyone could become a bigger hero for me than Dennis Lillee was when I was a boy. Childhood legends don’t get overthrown. Only, Shane did it,” emails Lindsay Went. “Richie Benaud had spent years creating the anticipation for another great Australian leg spinner. And then we got Shane. In our greatest era. I would get excited every time he came on to bowl.
“I stayed up at night time and again to watch him. I skipped Christmas with my family to watch him take his 700th wicket on Boxing Day. Now, I am just f***ing devastated. Thanks for the World Cup, thanks for the great overseas wins, thanks for bringing us so much excitement . You’re irreplaceable. And unforgettable.”
A theory on why Warne should have opened the bowling at Trent Bridge in 2005 from Gary Naylor:
The England captain Joe Root speaks to Sky Sports: “It’s hard to know what to say … growing up, he was an idol of mine … to have the opportunity to spend some time with him, albeit not a lot, it’s deeply sad to hear this news … I’d have been 14 when that 2005 Ashes series was on and that was a massive influence on my career … those are the sorts of things that make you want to get into the game and play at the highest level … he just wanted to see the game played at the peak of its powers … He really loved the game of cricket and he was fun to be around … deeply saddened to hear this news today.”
The former England all-rounder Dominic Cork speaks to Sky Sports News:
“I was lucky enough to be around him quite a lot with commentary. Just being around him, he just enthused everything that you wanted to be as a person. He was enthusiastic about everything. Such sad, tragic news and the world of, not just cricket – the people who know Shane Warne, his friends, his family, this is a devastating loss and one that is going to take a long time to get over.
“When you talk about Shane Warne we always use the word legend … but he is truly a legend in sport and a legend in cricket. In my opinion he is the best ever bowler in Test cricket … it’s a shocking day, and one that will take a long time to sink in.
“He was a class above even someone like Abdul Qadir … he knew the opposition were frightened of him … but he still had the belief that: “I’ve got to work hard.” An outstanding talent … he used to get so many revolutions off the ball, and spin off pitches that a lot of the spin bowlers couldn’t get.
“He had a belief that when he went out he was going to make the difference. In my opinion he was not one of the best, he was the best.
“He was an iconic individual, on an off the field … it’s such a sad day … for me, just iconic, an absolute legend that will never be replaced.”
In a 2018 interview with the Australian broadcaster ABC, the bowler spoke about taking his record-breaking 700th wicket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the Boxing Day Test of the 2006 Ashes.
Another small Warne anecdote of mine is that I saw him play in a domestic match in Australia around 2001. If I remember correctly, his bowling took a bit of punishment from Greg Blewett in that match. It was an eye-opener, as it became clear that domestically, Warne’s bowling did not hold quite the same sense of theatre, or carry the same sense of fear, that it did for many opponents on the international stage.
As is being pointed out elsewhere, Warne allied an incredible talent and work ethic with an ability to think batsmen out, or simply scare them out with the force of his personality. He knew full well that he struck fear into batsmen and the sheer pressure he exerted on opponents, in tandem with Adam Gilchrist behind the stumps, was immense.
The thoughts of the Guardian’s cricket correspondent, Ali Martin, on the death of Shane Warne:
“The highlight of my cricketing career was to keep wicket to Warnie. Best seat in the house to watch the maestro at work.”
I hardly need to tell you who has written that on Twitter. “Good areas, Shane!” … “Like it, Shane!”
What a double act that was!
Australian cricket – and indeed cricket in general – was already reeling following the death of Rodney Marsh. Here is our obituary of the trailblazing wicketkeeper:
“I’m in shock, as I am sure you are,” emails Matt Bullen. “I’m just a Guardian reader: about my strongest link to the game is having attended and played for the school where the word ‘cricket’ was supposedly first used, in the 1500s … Anyway, when I just wrote a post about Shane on Facebook, I realised that most of my pals here in Seattle, where I now live, don’t follow cricket. So I wrote:
“I can barely believe that Shane Warne just died. He was only 52. Everyone’s in shock. An Australian cricketer who transformed the precise, gentle art of spin bowling into (in the best sense) a most macho, record-breaking form of athleticism. Plus a fun, warm guy. What a man.”
“Like all the other kids I was a fan of cricket and Shane was one of the childhood heroes alongside Sachin, Lara, Dravid, Flintoff,” emails Mishu Dhar, who is from Bangladesh, and currently living in Sweden. “Today I am feeling that a part of my childhood also died with Shane’s departure. Thanks to this legend for tons of sweet childhood memories and rest in peace.”
The former England batsman Mark Butcher is talking to Sky Sports News: “A man who lived it all and loved it all, on or off the cricket field … it’s astonishing that he’s gone, it really is. I thought he was invincible. He will be sorely, sorely missed … he was full of contradictions, he was a brilliant entertainer, a brilliant cricketer, and a top, top bloke.”
It is impossible to overstate the excitement that Warne’s arrival in England generated on that 1993 Ashes tour. He had such unbelievable charisma. My elder sister was graduating from Leeds University in the week of the Headingley Test, and she and my parents found themselves in the same Italian restaurant as the Australian squad one evening. They asked Warne for an autograph – of course he obliged and was unfailingly polite. At my cricket club that weekend we laughed at the thought of Warne and teammates enjoying a night out while some of the England team were probably cowering in their hotel rooms. Of course, much of that well-deserved hype and excitement around Warne and the Test series was due to having the Ashes live on terrestrial TV. Those were the days.
Thank you Gregg. What a desperately sad, shocking day for cricket. A reminder, I suppose, that for all the more important things occurring in the world at the moment, sport really does matter. Do feel free to email me or tweet any tributes to the great Shane Warne.
I’m going to pass the blog on to Luke McLaughlin now but before I go here is a collection of reader tributes:
Gerry Johnson: “I remember my jaw dropping when I saw that first ball against Mike Gatting and Warne’s every over (always full of variation) from then on left you on tenterhooks. He was such a part of the brilliant 2005 Ashes series that he’s always part of it for me despite him being on the losing side. A bit of a maverick and sometimes he said cringeworthy things but for me he’s one of the very best and I’m immensely sad at his departure.”
Sam Charlton: “As an Englishman who’s 31, I grew up with Shane Warne. I also regularly barked ‘bowling Shane’ to a good turning ball when playing cricket. What an immense loss to sport as a whole.”
Philip West: “So sad to hear this news. What a few people forget about the Gatting delivery is that prior to the first Test the Aussies played a few games against the counties and Warne was ordered to bowl utter dross to keep the element of surprise. I’m sure I read a preview of the series in the Guardian where he was dismissed as a threat completely. Cunning! RIP – a magnificent cricketer and an equally good bloke.”
Sandeep Halagali: “What a loss, a fantastic entertainer of the game, 25 years ago I remember we kids trying to copy Warnie’s bowling action as 12-year-olds on every Indian cricketing street, including his popular pulled up shirt sleeve. Warnie is loved in every cricketing street in India even though we have a fierce competition with the Australians. A happy go lucky bloke, may he rest in peace.”
James Butler: “I was at Old Trafford for the 2005 Ashes Test when Warne made 90 before holing out. Although I was desperate for England to win that Test I was also secretly rooting for Warne to reach his century and it was a mini tragedy when he was caught on the boundary. I loved watching him play: not just because of all the tricks, the little bits of magic and the verbals, but mostly because he always looked like a kid having the time of his life. He never did get that test ton.”
Mike Gatting, who was on the receiving end of the Ball of the Century, has been speaking to Sky Sports. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:
I’m devastated and feel for his mum and his family. He did an awful lot for people off the pitch and [charity work] that wasn’t well-known. I think Warney will always be, certainly from my point of view, No1 [in cricket]. He had everything a cricketer needed. Self confidence, discipline, and desire – and he had time to enjoy it too. That resonated with a lot of youngsters. He inspired many to take up leg-spin. He was a guy who had different thoughts and new ideas and was never afraid to put them out int the open.”
When asked about the Ball of the Century, Gatting says he’s just glad that Warne went on to have such a remarkable career as it made him feel better about being on the end of it.
‘He was Peter Pan … he wanted bowling to be fun’
David Lloyd, a former England coach and player, has been speaking on talkSPORT:
Shane was generous to a fault. He lived life to the full, he was Peter Pan, but when it came to cricket, he was serious. He championed the game. He was serious about cricket but he wanted it to be fun. He wanted bowling to be fun, to smile at the opposition when they hit you for six. He had this God-given talent and he was so grateful for it that he always wanted to help other players. Any young spinner who came into the game at whatever level, he would go and talk to them, work with them, give them a pat on the back. He was an immense character, but as a player he was top of the tree. For me, he’s the best I’ve ever seen.
And Hampshire, the county in England that he captained between 2000 and 2007, have posted their own reaction to the sad news that cricket has lost “one of the greatest”.
Just watch this turn!
Jonathan Trott has just been talking about Warne’s legacy and he is a firm believer he made leg-spin trendy again. You can see why with balls like the one that bamboozled Andrew Strauss above.
A reader, Robert Wilson, writes: “It’s astounding news, blackly unexpected. And a reminder of mortality for several countryfuls and generations of men (I feel like putting my arms around Viv Richards and asking him only to eat salads). So much to celebrate in his picaresque and operatic career. An irresponsible meteor of talent simultaneously illuminating and terrifying the solar system. The lunatic extremity of his stock ball, the four or five completely fictional new deliveries he made world class batsmen worry about every couple of years, his riotously defiant batting (defiant even when they were ahead) and the deadliest straight ball any spinner will ever bowl. But what I will remember most is early in the 2005 tour my sinking heart and absolutely certainty when English fans and newspapers chanted and chortled that Warney was over the hill and a busted flush. It remains the single most expensive sledge in sporting history. Imagine doing that!”
Warne took his place in Guardian history in 2005 when he featured on the front page of the newspaper’s relaunched Berliner edition. He didn’t have many “bad days” – he was the player of the 2005 series alongside Andrew Flintoff – hence why he was front page news.
To try and define a colourful character such as Warne by statistics alone is daft, but his were not half bad were they?
708 – wickets for Warne in his 145 Tests, behind Sri Lanka star Muralitharan’s 800 but well ahead of third-placed England seamer James Anderson (640).
1,001 – Warne took another 293 wickets in one-day internationals to crack four figures for Australia in all formats – again only behind Muralitharan in the international record books.
99 – Warne’s best Test score as a batter – he has the most Test runs of any batsman not to make a century.
8-71 – his career-best figures across all first-class and limited-overs cricket, in a 1994 Test against England in Brisbane.
195 – Ashes wickets, the most in the competition’s history and 38 more than second-placed Glenn McGrath.
96 – Warne’s Test wicket tally in 2005, including 40 in a memorable Ashes series, remains a record for a player in a single calendar year. Muralitharan is closest behind him with 90 in 2006.
1994 – year Warne took a Test hat-trick, removing England tail-enders Phil DeFreitas, Darren Gough and Devon Malcolm in successive balls. It is one of only 46 hat-tricks in Test history.
450,000 – Warne’s price in the inaugural Indian Premier League auction, where he was bought by Rajasthan Royals. He spent four seasons there as both captain and coach and led them to victory in the first season of the competition.
Virat Kohli reckons there was no better spinner than Shane Warne: “Life is so fickle and unpredictable. I cannot process the passing of this great of our sport and also a person I got to know off the field. RIP #goat. Greatest to turn the cricket ball.”
And Sachin Tendulkar – like many of us – still can’t get his head around the news:
Sir Viv Richards has tweeted his reaction to Warne’s death:
And here’s the view of an Australian reader, Conor Walsh, who believes Warne was rooted in his childhood. “I’m a 27-year-old Melburnian. It feels like my whole life and view as a cricket fan has been through Warne’s lens. When I was growing up, if anyone ever bowled a nice delivery at lunchtime at school we’d say: ‘Bowling, Shane!’. It was a natural part of our vernacular. He was an icon for us all. A truly shocking loss.”
It is the middle of the night in Australia so many in Warne’s home country will not be aware of the sad news just yet but in England, despite Warne’s ability to heap misery on the national team with such regularity, Warne’s death has left many stunned. Many tributes I have read sum up his personality as much as his incredibly ability – he was always very likeable in England due to his lightness of touch and playfulness.
One reader, Robert Ellson, writes: “I think Warne’s greatness was reflected in the fact that England cricket fans loved him even as he was destroying us in Ashes series after Ashes series. I remember being in the pavilion at Edgbaston in 1993 as the Aussie players came in from their pre-match warm-ups. ‘Go easy on us today, Shane,’ said an English voice from the crowd. “Aw, I can’t do that mate, I’d get in shit,” Warne twinkled back. Lovely.
Of course, Shane Warne announced himself as a cricketing superstar with the Ball of the Century in 1993, when the spinner’s drifting, leaping leg-break bowled England’s Mike Gatting at Old Trafford. We ranked it as our No 1 Ashes moment in 2013. Here’s what Barney Ronay wrote at the time:
Warne’s Ball, a hard-spun leg-break to dismiss Mike Gatting on the third day of the Old Trafford Test, is still jarringly fresh even as it approaches its 20th birthday this Ashes summer. Warne’s Ball remains a pure and entirely self-contained sporting miniature. There may come a point – a thousand YouTube montages, a million lunch interval documentaries from now – where it is possible not to be startled by the impact of that drifting, leaping leg-break (and Gatting’s trudge: never underestimate Gatting’s trudge) but it seems safe to say this is still some way off.
You can read the full piece here:
And here’s the video of that moment of magic:
The England team are in Antigua as they prepare for their Test series against West Indies. They too have been stunned by the news and have just observed a minute’s silence before play resumes on day four of their warmup match.
Ben Stokes tweeted:
Shane Warne (1969-2022)
Shane Warne, one of the finest bowlers of all time who revived the art of leg-spin, has died aged 52 following a suspected heart attack. This is truly shocking news. Not just within cricket but in the wider world, too. Warne was a true sporting icon, a larger than life character whose 708 Test wickets have only been surpassed by contemporary rival and fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
A statement from Warne’s management company said: “It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday 4 March. Shane was found unresponsive in his Villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived. The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
Warne – who was the joint-leading wicket-taker as Australia won the 1999 World Cup and finished with 293 one-day dismissals in 194 matches – brought an illustrious 15-year international career to an end in 2007.
It is an incredibly sad time for Australian cricket, following the news of wicketkeeper Rod Marsh’s death, which Warne was commenting on himself only 12 hours ago. The Australia opener David Warner tweeted:
Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I’m lost for words, and this is extremely sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Marsh and Warne family. I just can not believe it. rip, you will both be missed.
I will bring you the latest tributes here and please email me with your own.
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