The sporting world has paid tribute to Australian cricket legend Shane Warne, who has died of a suspected heart attack aged 52.
Warne took 708 Test wickets during his career –– the second most of all-time, across an international career that spanned more than 15 years.
The leg-spinner also helped Australia win the 1999 ODI World Cup and claimed 293 dismissals in 194 one-day internationals between 1993 and 2005.
He retired from international cricket in January 2007 at the end of Australia’s 5–0 Ashes series victory over England.
Warne is famous for bowling the ‘ball of the century’ in the 1993 Ashes, where he dismissed England’s Mike Gatting with a delivery that pitched outside leg stump and turned so much, it hit the top of off.
Warne’s management company said he was found unresponsive in his villa on the Thai island Koh Samui on Friday.
“It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack,” they said.
“Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived.
“The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
A number of famous sportswomen have expressed their shock at the news and offered their condolences.
Former England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent, who worked with Warne on commentary for Sky Sports, tweeted: “Seriously praying this news is not true! What an absolute legend of the game and loved by so many. The game has lost one of the greats. In shock. Sad day for the cricket world.”
Seriously praying this news is not true! 😭😢 What an absolute legend of the game and loved by so many. The game has lost one of the greats 💔 In shock. Sad day for the cricket world 🙏🏾 https://t.co/F42aATo3zc— Ebony-Jewel Rainford-Brent MBE (@ejrainfordbrent) March 4, 2022
Similarly, Sam Kerr, the Australian Women’s football captain, simply wrote: “Icon. RIP legend.”
icon ❤️🇦🇺 RIP legend https://t.co/Zqr9yMuCSj— Sam Kerr (@samkerr1) March 4, 2022
South African cricketer Dane van Niekerk echoed these thoughts and said she was “broken.”
Broken😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔 https://t.co/EyyFoKeCS1— Danevn81 (@Danevn811) March 4, 2022
Cricket Australia are yet to release a statement on Warne’s death, which comes just a day after fellow Australian cricket legend Rod Marsh also passed away.