Australian cricket legend Shane Warne dies aged 52
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has died aged 52 after suffering a suspected heart attack in Thailand on Friday.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” a statement from his management team read.
Former leg spinner Warne is the country's leading wicket taker after earning 708 scalps in his 145-match Test career, leaving only second to Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan in the sport's history.
Warne made his mark in England after a mesmeric piece of bowling took the wicket of Mike Gatting on his Ashes debut in 1993, a delivery that would be described as the "ball of the century".
Australia won the 1999 World Cup in England, where Warne again took centre stage against Pakistan in the final at Lord’s. A spell of four for 33 in a blistering nine-over spell helped skittle Pakistan out for just 132. Warne was named man-of-the-match as Steve Waugh’s side coasted past their victory target at the home of cricket.
Following retirement from playing he became a regular commentator on Sky Sports coverage of cricket in the UK.
Warne had spells playing domestic cricket in England for Hampshire, where he spent eight seasons, and coached London Spirit in the inaugural Hundred competition last year.
Tributes poured in for the former spinner who was very popular throughout the sport thanks to his larger than life personality.
“I am in a state of shock," former England spinner Phil Tufnell told ITV News.
“[Warne] will go down as one of the all-time greats of the game.
"[He] opened the game up to everyone; got spin bowling back on the map as well. It was a delight to watch him weave his magic. It’s a very very sad day."
Former England allrounder and Sky Sports colleague Ian Botham said: "I've lost a great friend on and off the playing field. 'One of the best' my thoughts are with Jackson, Summer & Brooke. RIP Warnster"
Former Pakistan fast bowler, Waqar Younis tweeted: "Shane Warne no more..I’m shocked and shattered. Simply can't believe I’m hearing this. Very very sad day for our cricket community. The biggest superstar of my generation gone. Goodbye Legend."
Gary Lineker posted: "Terribly saddened and shocked to hear the news that Shane Warne has died. The greatest spin bowler of all time. Can’t quite believe it. RIP Shane."
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.”
Warne had three children with his former wife Simone Callahan. At one point he was engaged to British actress Elizabeth Hurley.
The news comes just a day after another Australian cricket legend, Rod Marsh, died aged 74.
Warne's final tweet was a tribute to Marsh, he wrote: "Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game & an inspiration to so many young boys & girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket & gave so much-especially to Australia & England players. Sending lots & lots of love to Ros & the family. RIP mate."