The former Australian cricketer, who made his international debut against India in 1992, died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 52.
Legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne is dead. The news struck the global sporting community like a bolt out of the blue on Friday.
Arguably the greatest leg spinner of all time, Shane Warne died at the age of 52 after reportedly suffering a heart attack at Koh Samui, Thailand.
Soon after the news broke, tributes and condolences began pouring in for the spin wizard and Indian cricketers, a lot of them Warne’s former rivals on the cricketing field and dear friends off it, weren’t far behind.
“Cannot believe it. One of the greatest spinners, the man who made spin cool, superstar Shane Warne is no more. Life is very fragile, but this is very difficult to fathom. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans all around the world,” a shell-shocked Virender Sehwag said.
Current Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, among others, also shared their grief.
Warne’s 15-year-long cricketing career was exemplary. Over the course of his illustrious playing years, Shane Warne picked 708 wickets in Test cricket — the most by any Australian and only behind Sri Lankan ace Muttiah Muralitharan (800) in the all-time highest Test wicket-takers list.
Warne is also the highest-ever wicket-taker in the iconic Ashes rivalry between Australia and England.
With 293 scalps in 194 matches, his One Day International (ODI) career was also enviable. He was an integral part of the Australian team which won the ICC World Cup in 1999 – their first since 1987.
Despite playing for Australia, one of India’s top rivals, Shane Warne has always shared a special connection with Indian cricket. In fact, he made his international debut against India in 1992, a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Over the years, every time the two teams toured each other or played each other in any multi-team tournament, Warne’s duel with Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was the highlight.
Warne was a fan-favourite among Indian fans even when playing in India. The affection for the former Australian great, perhaps, was summed up by Indian hockey veteran PR Sreejesh.
“A man who made our childhood special is no more. Rest in Peace, Legend,” summed up Sreesjesh, who helped India to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
After his retirement in 2007, Shane Warne played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for four years, serving as both a player and mentor for Rajasthan Royals during the period.
Shane Warne was the Royals’ captain when they won the inaugural IPL in 2008, beating MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the final.
By Utathya Nag
Photo : olympics.com
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