Shane Warne dies at 52 Live News updates: Australia PM announces state funeral for Warne; Tendulkar, Gilchrist lead tributes – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Australia cricket great Shane Warne, widely regarded as one of the best Test players of all time, has died of a suspected heart attack aged 52.

Warne — a larger-than-life character whose tally of 708 Test wickets has only been surpassed by his rival and fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan — could not be revived after being found unresponsive in his Thailand villa.

“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,” said a statement from his mangement company.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” it added.

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

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

Warne, credited with reviving the art of leg-spin, was part of a dominant Australian Test team and helped his country win the 1999 World Cup.

Named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, alongside Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards, Warne’s impact was enormous.

The bowler became as well known for a colourful life away from cricket as he was for his exploits on the field.

Both he and Australia team-mate Mark Waugh were fined for accepting money from a bookmaker and Warne was suspended for 12 months after failing a drugs test on the eve of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, having taken a diuretic.

The first bowler to take 700 Test wickets with an assortment of leg-breaks, googlies, flippers and his own “zooters”, Warne retired from Australia duty following a 5-0 series win at home to arch-rivals England during the 2006/07 Ashes,

In addition to his international exploits, Warne also enjoyed a successful career with his Australian state side Victoria.

And while his private life effectively ruled him out of captaining Australia, for all his acknowledged tactical acumen, Warne did skipper English county Hampshire, where he helped nurture gifted England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

With inputs from AFP

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