Former Australia spinner and one the greatest bowlers that cricket has ever seen, Shane Warne, has died of a suspected heart attack in Thailand, his management said on Friday. Entire cricketing world is shell shocked due to Warne’s untimely demise.
He was 52 and is survived by two daughters and a son.
Warne’s management released a brief statement to the Australian media, saying that he passed away in Koh Samui, Thailand and the reason could be a suspected heart attack. Koh Samui is popular among tourists and is the second largest island in Thailand.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement reported by various media outlets here said.
“The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
An iconic name in international cricket, Warne, since making his debut in 1992, played 145 Tests for Australia, picking up 708 wickets with his leg-spin. In his 194 ODI appearances, Warne snared 293 scalps.
He immortalised himself with the ‘ball of the century’ in 1993 when as a 24-year-old, he deceived Mike Gatting at Old Trafford with a delivery that landed on the leg stump and, as the Englishman tried to defend, turned viciously to clip his off bail.
Gatting was left in disbelief by the big leg break, a craft that was dying before Warne revived it with his guile.
He was the second highest wicket taker in Test history and only Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has more wickets than him with 800.
In 2007, Cricket Australia and Sri Lanka Cricket named the Test series between the two sides the Warne Muralitharan Trophy in the duo’s honour.
Warne, who made his Test debut against India at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground, was named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Century for his unparalleled achievements in a 15-year career between 1992 and 2007.
In 2013, the year he retired from the game completely, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. His international retirement happened much before that in 2007.
Warne helped Australia win the World Cup in 1999 and took more wickets than any other bowler in Ashes cricket, the tally standing at 195.
After retiring, Warne added to his legend by doubling up as captain and coach of IPL team Rajasthan Royals and guiding them to a remarkable title triumph in the event’s inaugural edition.
A flamboyant personality both on and off the field, Warne also found success as a commentator and was considered among the sharpest analysts of the game.
He was immensely popular in India and his connection with the country went back to his debut when Ravi Shastri became his first Test wicket.
Warne’s vivacious persona made him a fan favourite across the cricketing world but also often landed him in trouble.
In 1998, he and Mark Waugh coped a fine from Cricket Australia for accepting money from a bookmaker for sharing information on pitch and weather conditions.
Before the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he tested positive for a banned diuretic, which he claimed, was given to him by his mother for weight loss. He subsequently coped a suspension for the failed dope test.
He was dismissive of the idea of coaching in cricket and always advocated for man managers instead.
Warne has passed away on a day when Australian cricket is in mourning after the death of wicket-keeping legend Rod Marsh.
He had condoled Marsh’ demise in a tweet this morning and that post would now be among his last public statements.
“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,” the legend had posted.
(With inputs from PTI)