Australian cricket icon Shane Warne dead at 52

Publish Date
Saturday, 5 March 2022, 8:21AM

One of cricket's greatest ever players, Shane Warne, has died aged 52 following a suspected heart attack in Thailand.

Warne, a flamboyant showman on and off the field, was found unconscious in his bedroom at a Thai resort - and could not be revived despite heroic efforts by friends.

His manager James Erskine released a statement on Saturday morning confirming the former Test leg-spinner had passed away late on Friday night (NZT).

"Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived," the statement read. "The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course."

Warne was on holiday in the Koh Samui resort and reports are emerging of the heroic attempts by a group of four friends to save him.

One of the friends found Warne unresponsive in the villa as he tried to wake him for food about 5pm local time (11pm NZT), police said.

The friends performed CPR on him for about 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived and took Warne to the Thai International Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police Senior Sergeant Major Suporn Hemruangsree told the Daily Mail: "Police received a report about somebody who died at the Thai International Hospital so we went and asked the hotel, and found out that the deceased was with four other friends and died in the room.

"In the villa, the people were sleeping in separate rooms. They were sleeping from afternoon to evening, until about 5pm.

"At 5pm somebody came to call out this person for dinner but the deceased did not respond so they called three other friends to perform CPR for 20 minutes. They waited for the ambulance to come.

"The doctor announced the death of the person at 6:53pm. Police went and checked the room and there was no sign of intrusion or possessions being searched through. The body was sent for an autopsy at Koh Samui Hospital."

Tributes are flowing across the world for Warne, who is survived by three children: Jackson, Brooke and Summer.

Devastated former New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum is among many paying tribute to one of the greatest cricketers of all time. In a tweet, McCullum wrote: "Please no... heartbroken. Already miss 'The King'."

Warne is regarded as one of the finest cricketers in history, claiming 708 Test wickets at 25.41 in 145 matches between 1992 and 2007. No Australian has taken more international wickets than the Victorian.

He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013, and was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Century, alongside Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Vivian Richards.

The leg-spinner featured in Australia's 1999 World Cup triumph, winning six Ashes series.

After his retirement, Warne served as a commentator and broadcaster for Channel 9 and Fox Cricket.

Warne's death comes less than 24 hours after another Australian cricket legend, wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, passed away aged 74, having suffered a heart attack in Queensland last week.

"Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed," Warne tweeted on Friday morning. "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."

Warne was credited with reviving the art of leg-spin – his career tally of 708 Test wickets was surpassed only by Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan with 800.

Australian 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 cannot believe it. #rip, you will both be missed.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission