Hampshire pays tribute to former cricketer, Shane Warne, who has died aged 52

Joe Coshan reports.

People across Hampshire have been paying tribute to former cricketer, Shane Warne, who died today (Friday 4 March) aged 52.

Warne played for Hampshire between 2000 and 2007, where he made a measurable impact on the club.

Hampshire Cricket chairman, Rod Bransgrove, said Warne will be 'hugely missed'

Former Hampshire cricketer, Shaun Udal, said he was the 'best cricketer and friend ever'.

Historian, Dave Allen, said he was 'just astonished'.

"Terrible circumstances, we lost Malcolm Marshall at a similar age but there was a forewarning of that with illness.

"He was always a man of such energy and life, almost impish really. It is really hard to imagine and very hard to reconcile.

The full statement from Rod Bransgrove at Hampshire Cricket read:

“It is impossible to exaggerate the impact Shane Warne had on this Club during his time with us between 2000 and 2007. Players, Members, management and staff are all united in their grief at the shocking news of his untimely passing.

"Warney had established many enduring friendships here at Hampshire Cricket and I feel privileged to regard myself as one of these. No doubt, like me, many will be struggling to process the tragic news and come to terms with his loss.

"For me, Shane Warne stands alone as the greatest spin bowler of all time. He was also an inspirational leader and brilliant tactician. He believed that any match could be won from any position and was good enough to fulfil this prophecy himself on many occasions.

"What’s more, as Hampshire Captain, he convinced the players to believe in his philosophy and established Hampshire Cricket as a major force in all forms of professional cricket.

"Off the field, he was competitive, fun, naughty and lovable in equal measure. He used to say “just because I occasionally do stupid things, it doesn’t mean I’m stupid” and he couldn’t have shown greater self-awareness.

"Shane Warne has made an indelible impact on the World in his tragically short time here, transcending his sport and becoming an international icon. He will be hugely missed by all those who knew him and my thoughts right now are with Keith, Bridgette, Brooke, Jackson and Summer.”