Shane Warne's haunting final tweet before tragic death
The sporting world is reeling after the shock news that Shane Warne - the greatest Test leg-spinner of all time - has died at the age of 52.
Warne died in a Thailand hotel on Friday while on holiday of a suspected heart attack, with his management confirming he was found unresponsive and unable to be revived.
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Thai police have since told Reuters that Warne's body had been taken for an autopsy and friends who found him would be spoken with, but added there were no signs of foul play.
The horrific news came less than 24 hours after Australian cricket mourned the loss of another Test great, following the passing of Rod Marsh.
The legendary wicketkeeper suffered a heart attack in Bundaberg last week, and was later transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital on order to be closer to his family.
He had been placed in an induced coma, and was transferred interstate before news broke on Friday that he had died.
In a haunting twist, Warne paid tribute to Marsh on social media in what may have been the final message he sent before his own tragic death.
"Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game & an inspiration to so many young boys & girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket & gave so much-especially to Australia & England players. Sending lots & lots of love to Ros & the family. RIP mate," Warne tweeted alongside a love heart emoji.
Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game & an inspiration to so many young boys & girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket & gave so much-especially to Australia & England players. Sending lots & lots of love to Ros & the family. RIP mate❤️
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 4, 2022
News of Warne's death has hit Australia and the wider sporting world hard, with Australia's current Test stars learning of the tragedy after the first day's play in their opening Test against Pakistan.
"Hard to fathom," a clearly emotional Australia captain Pat Cummins said.
"Warnie was an all-time great. A once-in-a-century type cricketer and his records will live on forever
"We all grew up watching Warnie, idolising him. We all had posters on our walls, had his earings.
"We loved so much about Warnie.
"His showmanship, his charisma, his tactics, the way he just willed himself and the team around him to win games for Australia.
"There are so many guys in this team and squad who still have him as a hero and all-time favourite player. The loss we are trying to wrap our head around is huge.
"The game of cricket was never the same after Shane emerged, and it will never be the same now he has gone. Rest in peace King."
Warne was Australia's greatest-ever bowler and arguably the country's second greatest cricketer in history behind Don Bradman.
Named one of the five cricketers of the 20th century by Wisden when he was still midway through his career, Warne owned the field in the way few others have.
A magician with the ball, the legspinner remains Australia's leading wicket-taker and sits second behind Muthiah Muralidaran globally with 708 scalps in 145 Tests.
He played one of the most influential roles in Australia's golden era of cricket, announcing himself with the magic ball that bowled Mike Gatting in 1993 and bowing out with a 5-0 Ashes whitewash at home in 2006-07.
In between times, he bowled Australia to the 1999 World Cup, helping them back from the brink with unforgettable displays in the semi-final and final.
Such was Warne's brilliance, he took a record 96 wickets in the penultimate year of his career.
All up he finished with 1001 international wickets across all formats, earning spots in the ICC, Australian cricket and Australian sport Hall of Fame.
Tributes have been flooding social media by shattered fans, former teammates, players and officials reacting to the tragic news.
Numb. The highlight of my cricketing career was to keep wicket to Warnie. Best seat in the house to watch the maestro at work. Have often felt a tad selfish, that Heals and I pretty much exclusively are the only ones who had that thrill and pleasure at Test level. Rip Warnie.💔😢
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) March 4, 2022
Hard to fathom. We all idolised Warnie growing up for his showmanship, will to win from any position and his incredible skill. Players all over the world owe him so much for what he has brought to cricket. He had a huge affect on all he met. He transcended cricket.
RIP King pic.twitter.com/614NRwq4wm
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) March 4, 2022
One of the greatest of all-time.
A legend. A genius.
You changed Cricket.
RIP Shane Warne ❤️ pic.twitter.com/YX91zmssoT
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) March 4, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/f7FUzZBaYX
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 4, 2022
Terribly saddened and shocked to hear the news that Shane Warne has died. The greatest spin bowler of all time. Can’t quite believe it. RIP Shane
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 4, 2022
Oh no ! News that shakes you and stops you right in your track. RIP Shane Warne ❤️❤️
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 4, 2022
I just can’t believe this. Larger than life. A living legend. No longer with us. Far too young. Both cricket and the country so much poorer for his passing. May you Rest In Peace Warnie. My deepest condolences to his family. The country mourns his passing. https://t.co/57T8JzVA6f
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) March 4, 2022
Unbelievable. I am shocked to the core. This can't be true...
Rest In Peace, @ShaneWarne. There are no words to describe what I feel right now. A huge loss for cricket. pic.twitter.com/uZdEdNz0x9
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) March 4, 2022
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