Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is finding it ‘hard to put into words’ following the tragic death of his once teammate Shane Warne who passed away on Friday in Koh Samui, Thailand of a suspected heart attack. (More Cricket News)
Known as the Wizard of Oz, Shane Warne was found unresponsive in a villa in Thailand on Friday. The doctors put in their best efforts to revive the 52-year-old but it was too late by then. Warne’s death comes within 24 hours of another Australian legend Rodney Marsh’s demise.
“Hard to put this into words. I first met him when I was 15 at the Academy. He gave me my nickname. We were teammates for more than a decade, riding all the highs and lows together,” Ponting, who alongside Warne, won the 1999 ICC World Cup for Australia, tweeted.
“Through it all he was someone you could always count on, someone who loved his family. ...someone who would be there for you when you needed him and always put his mates first. The greatest bowler I ever played with or against,” added two-time World Cup-winning captain Ponting.
“RIP King. My thoughts are with Keith, Bridgette, Jason, Brooke, Jackson and Summer.” In a celebrated 15-year long career, Warne took 708 and 293 wickets in Tests and ODIs respectively for Australia. He was also named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Century.
Hard to put this into words. I first met him when I was 15 at the Academy. He gave me my nickname.— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) March 5, 2022
We were teammates for more than a decade, riding all the highs and lows together.
Through it all he was someone you could always count on, someone who loved his family... pic.twitter.com/KIvo7s9Ogp
A beloved cricketer, Warne is credited to have bowled the most magical of deliveries in cricket – ‘the ball of the century’ - a delivery which dismissed Mike Gatting in the Manchester Test during Australia's Ashes tour of England in 1993.
And Ashes, cricket's original fixture, remains his favourite jaunt, claiming 195 wickets with best figures of 8/71. He has 11 five-wicket hauls and four 10-fers against England. Overall, he has 37 five-fors and 10 ten-fours. He is only behind Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan in the all-time list of wickets taken.
After retirement from international cricket in January 2007, he continued to play First-Class cricket. And he played for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League for four seasons, from 2008 to 2011, triumphantly leading the side to their first and only title in the inaugural edition.
Meanwhile, current Australian Test captain Pat Cummins, said Warne was a ‘hero’ to the present crop of cricketers. “So many guys in this team and squad still hold him as a hero,” Cummins, who is leading Australia in Pakistan in the first Test, said in a video message.
Rest in peace, King. A tribute to Shane Warne from Pat Cummins. pic.twitter.com/nyBMuV8fKj— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) March 5, 2022
“The loss that we are all trying to wrap our heads around is huge. The game was never the same after Warnie emerged, and the game will never be the same after his passing,” he added.
“Shane was a once-in-a-century cricketer and his achievements will stand for all time, but apart from the wickets he took and the games he helped Australia win, what he did was draw so many people to the sport.
“It has been a terrible couple of days for Australian cricket with the passing of Rod Marsh and now Shane. Our thoughts are with both families and, in Shane’s case, particularly with his parents Keith and Bridgette, his brother Jason and his children Jackson, Summer and Brooke,” Cummins said.