‘Come On, You’re Going To Be Late’: Shane Warne’s Tragic Final Moments Revealed
‘You’re going to be late’: Warne’s final moments revealed as foul play ruled out
Australia cricket legend and the greatest leg-spinner of all-time, Shane Warne, has died, aged 52.
The 708-Test wicket great was found unresponsive by friends in a villa he was staying at in Koh Samui, Thailand.
Warne’s management released a brief statement in the early hours of Saturday (AEDT) saying that he passed away of a suspected heart attack.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement reads.
“The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”
According to the Herald Sun, attempts by Warne’s close friend and associate Andrew Neophitou to revive him were unsuccessful.
Neophitou was an executive producer behind the recently released documentary SHANE.
Staff at the Thai International Hospital told AFP in Bangkok that Warne’s body was taken to their facility around 6:00 pm local time (1100 GMT) from Samujana Villas, a luxury resort in the northeast of Koh Samui.
“No foul play was suspected at the scene based on our investigation,” Thai police told AFP.
Warne’s manager James Erskine revealed Warne was in Thailand at the beginning of three months off having spent the summer working for Fox Cricket on the Ashes.
“Shane was having three months off and this was the start of it,” he told the Remembering Shane Warne tribute on Fox Cricket.
“They had only arrived the night before.
“They were going to go out for a drink at 5 o’clock, and (Neophitou) knocked on his door at 5.15pm because Warnie was always on time and said “come on you’re going to be late” and then realised something was wrong.”
Erskine said Neophitou then attempted to perform CPR before the ambulance arrived to take Warne to hospital but he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, meanwhile, confirmed Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials had been in touch with Warne’s travelling companions, and would travel to Koh Sumai to “provide further assistance”.
Warne has been taken to a local hospital for an autopsy, and will then be repatriated ahead of an expected state funeral.
“DFAT is working with Thai authorities to confirm arrangements following his passing, assist with his repatriation, and provide other assistance on the ground,” Senator Payne said.
The Great Southern Stand at the MCG will be renamed the S.K. Warne Stand, the Victorian government has confirmed on Saturday while Warne’s family will be offered a state funeral, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison describing him as one of the nation’s greatest cricketers and characters.
“Australians have woken in shock and sadness to the awful news of the death of Shane Warne, aged just 52,” Mr Morrison said.
“Shane was one of our greatest cricketers of all time, one of only a few that could approach the extraordinary achievements of the great Don Bradman.”
His achievements were the product of his talent, discipline and passion for the game he loved,” the Prime Minister said.
“But Shane was more than this to Australians. He was one of our nation’s greatest characters.
“His humour, his passion, his irreverence, his approachability ensured he was loved by all.”
The news is the second devastating blow for Australian cricket in 24 hours with fellow great, Rod Marsh, also dying on Friday having suffered a major heart attack last week.
Just hours before his death was made public, Warne tweeted his sadness over the death of Marsh who was one of his cricket idols.
Warne, credited with reviving the art of leg-spin, was part of a dominant Australian Test team in the 1990s and 2000s and helped his country win the 1999 limited-overs World Cup.
Australian captain Pat Cummins, currently leading the team on a tour of Pakistan, said Warne was “a hero” to the current generation of cricketers.
“The loss that we are all trying to wrap our heads around is huge,” he said in a video message. “The game was never the same after Warnie emerged, and the game will never be the same after his passing.” Warne’s inestimable impact was reflected by his inclusion in a list of the Wisden Cricketers of the 20th Century, alongside Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards.
Bursting onto the scene as a brash young player with a shock of blond hair, Warne became almost as well known for a colourful life away from cricket as he was for his exploits on the field.
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 in 2007 following a 5-0 series win at home to arch-rivals England.
He played 145 Tests in total over a 15-year career, taking 708 wickets, and was also a useful lower-order batsman, with a highest Test score of 99.
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 team Hampshire.
Following his international retirement Warne continued to star on the Twenty20 franchise circuit, appearing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and his home town Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League before quitting playing altogether.
He subsequently became a highly regarded television commentator and pundit, renowned for his forthright opinions.
Warne was also involved with team coaching — most recently at London Spirit in England’s new Hundred competition — and he worked individually too with current-day leg-spinners.
Warne was divorced from wife Simone Callahan, with whom he had three children. He also had high-profile relationship with British actress Liz Hurley.
India batting great Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter of his ex-rival: “Shocked, stunned & miserable… Will miss you Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around. Will always treasure our on field duels & off field banter.”
Former Australia team-mate Adam Gilchirst wrote: “Numb. The highlight of my cricketing career was to keep wicket to Warnie. Best seat in the house to watch the maestro at work.” Former England Test player Kevin Pietersen, a great friend who had numerous on-pitch duels with Warne, said “#RIPKing” along with a number of crying emojis as the tributes poured in — including from Richards and Sri Lanka’s Muralitharan
Warne is survived by his three children Brooke, Summer and Jackson.
Rest In Peace Shane Warne.