‘Shocked and stunned’: Cricket mourns Shane Warne, ‘the greatest’

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Shane Warne

Cricketers past and present around the world from Sachin Tendulkar to Brian Lara and Ben Stokes paid shocked tribute on Friday to Australian spin maestro Shane Warne who died of a suspected heart attack at 52.

Indian cricket legend Tendulkar, who had many memorable battles with Warne during their playing days, said he was “shocked, stunned & miserable” after news of Warne’s sudden death in Thailand.

“There was never a dull moment with you around, on or off the field. Will always treasure our on field duels & off field banter,” Tendulkar tweeted.

“You always had a special place for India & Indians had a special place for you. Gone too young!”

Brian Lara of the West Indies, another to have crossed swords with Warne in his prime, said he was speechless.

“I literally don’t know how to sum up this situation. My friend is gone!! We have lost one of the Greatest Sportsmen of all time!! My condolences goes out to his family. RIP Warnie!! You will be missed,” Lara tweeted.

Two legends

The announcement came just hours after the death was announced of fellow Australian great Rod Marsh, one of cricket’s outstanding wicketkeepers.

Australia 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.”

England all-rounder Ben Stokes, coached by Warne in the Indian Premier League, wrote on Instagram: “Australian Legend. @rajasthanroyals Legend. Was an honour to know you and work with you. This man is a LEGEND.”

“I’ve lost a great friend on and off the playing field,” former England all rounder Ian Botham said while former England cricketer and commentator Michael Vaughan tweeted simply: “Love ya king”.

Pakistani former paceman Shoaib Akhtar, another to have played against Warne, said: “No words to describe how shocked & sad i am. What a legend. What a man. What a cricketer.”

Compatriot Wasim Akram said he was “shocked and extremely sad to hear about the sudden death of my friend Warnie,” calling him “apart from an iconic bowler he was a great entertainer”.

Jaques Kallis of South Africa, another playing contemporary of Warne, said he was “one of the greatest competitors. Played hard on field and was one of the first to have a beer with you after.”

“Was always a pleasure and challenge playing against him. More importantly loved his kids endlessly. One of cricket’s greats,” Kallis added.

“Life is so fickle and unpredictable. I cannot process the passing of this great of our sport and also a person I got to know off the field. RIP #goat (greatest of all time). Greatest to turn the cricket ball,” India’s Virat Kohli tweeted.

Current India captain Rohit Sharma said he was “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.”

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene tweeted: “One of the greatest in our generation!!

“I am in agony. Grief. And have no words. I was lucky enough to know him well. The magic will stay forever” former Indian cricketer and commentator Harsha Bhogle said.

Former England footballer Gary Lineker said he was “terribly saddened and shocked… The greatest spin bowler of all time. Can’t quite believe it. RIP Shane”.

“Shocked beyond words. A legend of our game, an icon, and someone who revolutionised spin bowling. RIP Shane Warne”, Indian fastbowler Jasprit Bumrah said.

Factfile on Shane Warne, the great Australian leg-spinner who died from a suspected heart attack at the age of 52:

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: September 13, 1969 in Melbourne

Died: March 4, 2022 in Koh Samui, Thailand

Major teams: Australia, Victoria, Rajasthan Royals, Hampshire, Melbourne Stars

Bowling style: Right-arm leg-break

Test debut: v India, Sydney, January 1992

Last Test: v England, Sydney, January 2007

Test record: 145 matches, 708 wickets, 25.41 average

One-day record: 194 matches, 293 wickets, 25.73 average

Warne’s achievements:

– In 2000 selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, the only specialist bowler selected in the quintet

– Leading wicket-taker in Tests before being overtaken by Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka

– Only second bowler after Muralitharan to take combined 1,000 wickets in Tests and ODIs

– Five-wicket hauls in a Test innings: 37

– Ten-wicket hauls in a Test: 10

– Best Test bowling: 8-71 v England, Brisbane, November 1994

– Test hat-tricks: (1) v England, Melbourne, December 1994

– Highest Test score: 99 v New Zealand, Perth, November 2001

– Test catches: 125

– Test man-of-the-match awards: 17

– Test wickets in a calendar year: 96-record (2005), 72 (1993), 70 (2004), 68 (1997), 67 (2002)

AFP

 

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