Sydney (AFP) – Australian cricketer great Shane Warne, widely regarded as one of the greatest Test players of all time, has died of a suspected heart attack aged 52, according to a statement from his management company .
Warne management said the retired leg spinner died in Koh Samui, Thailand.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday, March 4,” the statement read.
“Shane was found unconscious in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” he added.
“The family requests confidentiality at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
The announcement came just hours after news broke of the death of fellow Australian Rod Marsh, one of cricket’s top goalkeepers.
Warne was credited with reviving the art of the leg-spin and in a glittering 15-year career took 708 Test wickets – a total surpassed only by Sri Lankan non-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan , which took 800.
Named as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the century, alongside Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards, Warne’s impact has been enormous.
Warne, who became known as much for a colorful life away from cricket as he was for his exploits on the pitch, also helped Australia win the 1999 World Cup and took 293 wickets in 194 one-day internationals.
But on the eve of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he failed a drug test after taking diuretics in a bid to lose weight and was sent home before Australian cricket authorities ban it for a year.
In addition to his international exploits, Warne also enjoyed a successful career with his Australian state team Victoria and captained English county Hampshire.
He played in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals and the T20 Big Bash League Melbourne Stars.
Australian fly-half David Warner tweeted: “Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I’m at a loss for words, and it’s extremely sad. My thoughts and prayers are with the Marsh and Warne family. I don’t just can’t believe it. . #rip we will miss you both.”
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene tweeted: “One of the greatest of our generation!!
“Shocked and sad to hear the news. RIP Shane”
England wrote on Twitter: “One of the greatest of all time. A legend. A genius. You changed cricket. RIP Shane Warne.”
The England men’s team are currently in the Caribbean, preparing for a three-test series against the West Indies.
Ahead of the final day of their warm-up against an XI from the West Indies cricket president, the players and umpires stood in the middle for a minute’s silence in Warne’s honour.
© 2022 AFP