Tributes have been pouring in this afternoon after the sudden death of cricket legend Shane Warne.
The Australian sportsman was found unresponsive in his villa in Thailand and passed away of a suspected heart attack.
He was just 52 years old.
The cricketing world has been rocked by the death of Warne, considered one of the greats of the sport.
A minute’s silence was held today in Antigua ahead of a match between West Indies and England.
Fellow cricketers have been leading the tributes, with Jasprit Bumrah writing: “Shocked beyond words. A legend of our game, an icon, and someone who revolutionised spin bowling. RIP Shane Warne.”
England cricketer Michael Vaughan shared an emotional tribute to his friend, saying: “I can’t tell you how hard it is to get this down in words .. it’s just doesn’t feel real to be talking about someone who once was an enemy on the pitch to one who became a great friend off it.”
He continued: “I will never ever forget the warmth he & his family gave me this winter when I was down under for Xmas alone.
“To say I spent Warneys last Xmas with him & his family is so sad but one I will cherish .. all of us eating Turkey ,beef ,the usual Xmas trimmings & the King to stick to his Lasagne sandwich’s with bread rolls plastered with butter .. that’s Warney … the superstar .. the greatest .. friends to world superstars .. everyone wanted to be around him but ultimately he was just a normal guy who could do incredible things.
“My thoughts are with his mum Bridgette & dad Keith plus his 3 kids that I know he is immensely proud of .. Brooke , Summer & Jackson .. We are all thinking of you .. i am absolutely gutted to have a lost a great friend .. one thing is for sure Heaven will be a lively place now the King has arrived .. Love ya Shane x”
Legendary India batter Sachin Tendulkar said: “Shocked, stunned & miserable… Will miss you Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around, on or off the field. Will always treasure our on field duels & off field banter. You always had a special place for India & Indians had a special place for you. Gone too young!”
England Cricket’s official account posted, alongside a black and white photo of Warne: “One of the greatest of all-time. A legend. A genius. You changed Cricket. RIP Shane Warne.”
Gary Neville wrote: “Oh no ! News that shakes you and stops you right in your track. RIP Shane Warne”
The Times’ Henry Winter said: “Shane Warne transcended cricket. He was a sporting great with that winning mindset, fabulous technique, intelligence, boldness and that aura, a team player, too. Warne loved what he was doing and showed it; too much modern sport can be joyless. Also a giant as a broadcaster. RIP.”
A statement from Warne’s management said: “It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday 4th 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.”
Featured image: Cricket Australia