Shane Warne: tributes as Kevin Pietersen, Gary Lineker and more react to Australian cricket great’s death
Tributes have poured in as the world reacts to the passing of Australian cricket great Shane Warne due to a suspected heart attack
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The cricketing world has paid tribute to Australian icon Shane Warne following his death, aged 52.
The legendary leg-spinner, regarded by many as the greatest to ever play the game, was found unresponsive at his villa in Thailand on Friday following a suspected heart attack.
A statement from his management team confirmed the news of his passing shortly after.
It read: “It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday 4 March.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and 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 charismatic figure who transcended his sport, the shock of Warne’s death has understandably drawn heartfelt tributes from every corner of the cricketing community, and beyond.
What have people said in tribute to Shane Warne?
In the immediate aftermath of the tragic news, a number of high-profile figures from the world of cricket paid their respects to the 52-year-old on social media.
England icon Ben Stokes wrote: “Australian legend. Rajasthan Royals legend. Was an honour to know you and work with you. This man is a LEGEND”
Kevin Pietersen said: ‘F***#RIPKing.”
Likewise, former Three Lions star Ian Bell wrote: “There are no words. A hero growing up and the greatest player I ever played against. I can’t believe it. My thoughts are with his loved ones.”
Warne was often a thorn in the side of his English counterparts, but England Cricket were quick to pay their respects to one of their most iconic opponents. They wrote: “One of the greatest of all-time. A legend. A genius. You changed Cricket. RIP Shane Warne”
West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite added: “Sometimes it’s difficult to remember people who you idolise are human . It’s impossible to think they’ll leave us. Such a young age with so much more to give to our game. This is a big loss to the cricketing world. RIP Shane Warne.”
Ex-Pakistan quick bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote: “Just heard the devastating news about legendary Shane Warne passing away. No words to describe how shocked & sad i am. What a legend. What a man. What a cricketer.”
Former England left-hander Graeme Fowler echoed similar sentiments, writing: “RIP Shane Warne. The greatest spinner ever, and fantastic company. The brightest lights burn out faster.”
Retired Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan wrote: “Shane Warne was a crowd puller. Magician with the ball. Absolute legend of Australian cricket. First IPL winning captain. He will be missed, He will be remembered forever.”
Pathan’s compatriot Rohit Sharma wrote: “I’m truly lost for words here, this is extremely sad. An absolute legend and champion of our game has left us. RIP Shane Warne… still can’t believe it”
And Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan wrote: “Sad, speechless, and completely shocked. An incredible loss to cricket. I have no words. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the sport. Rest in Peace, Shane Warne. Sending my condolences to his loved ones.”
Iconic West Indies batsman Chris Gayle simply added: “RIP LEGEND”, while former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote: “Love ya, King…”
Tributes for Warne have come in from well-known figures outside of cricket too.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was among those to pay his respects, writing: “Terribly saddened and shocked to hear the news that Shane Warne has died. The greatest spin bowler of all time. Can’t quite believe it. RIP Shane”
Meanwhile, Sky Sports football pundit Jamie Carragher wrote: “RIP Shane Warne, the best bowler I’ve ever seen”
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