Australian spin legend Shane Warne dies of heart attack

Shane Warne

AUSTRALIAN SPIN LEGEND SHANE Warne, 52, died Friday of a suspected heart attack.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa [in Thailand] and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” Warne’s management confirmed in a statement to Australian media outlet Fox Sports.

“The family requests aprivacy at this time and will provide further details in due course."

Fox reported that Warne died in Thailand.

For Australian cricket, this is the second devastating news in 24 hours with fellow great, Rod Marsh, also dying on Friday having suffered a major heart attack last week.

Affectionately known as ‘Warnie’, he made his Test debut at the SCG in 1992 and gained international fame with the "ball of century", which took the scalp of England's Mike Gatting.

The International Cricket Council spoke for the international cricket community when it expressed its condolences at the sudden passing of one of the most recognisable names in the game.

In a statement, ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice expressed shock and sadness at Warne’s passing and said his impact on and off the field would be remembered for generations.

“I was stunned to hear the news of Shane’s passing. He was a true legend of the game, who changed the landscape of cricket by reviving the art of leg-spin. His larger-than-life personality, extraordinary skill and immense cricketing intellect ensured fans were glued to their seats whenever he was involved in a game.

“His contribution off the field was also remarkable, where he shared his time and experiences so generously with young players, especially up and coming leg-spinners. He also established a successful career in the commentary box, where his insightful and forthright views on the game made him one of the first-choice commentators for broadcasters in most cricketing countries.

“He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans at this difficult time, said Allardice.

Warne made his Test debut in 1992 against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, going on to become the most successful leg-spinner of all time. He played 145 Tests, finishing with 708 wickets that included 37 five-wicket hauls and 10 10-wicket match hauls. In 194 ODI appearances, Warne snared 293 scalps.

Warne was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2013 and named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Century for his unparalleled achievements in an illustrious 15-year career that ended in 2007.

He helped Australia win the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 1999 and took more wickets than any other bowler in Ashes cricket, with a tally that stood at 195. After retiring from international cricket, Warne doubled up as captain and coach of the IPL Franchise team Rajasthan Royals, guiding them to the title in the league’s inaugural edition.

A flamboyant personality both on and off the field, Warne also found success as a commentator and was considered one of the sharpest analysts of the game.