Shane Warne, Legendary Australian Cricketer, Dead at 52 After ‘Suspected Heart Attack’

Shane Warne, Legendary Australian Cricketer, Dead at 52 After ‘Suspected Heart Attack’
Australia's Shane Warne bowls to England's Matthew Hoggard on the first day of the second Ashes test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England, on Aug. 4, 2005. (Ian Hodgson/File Photo/Reuters)

Australian cricketer Shane Warne, considered the greatest leg-spin bowler of all time, has died after suffering a suspected heart attack at his villa in Thailand, his management company confirmed on Friday. He was 52.

“It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand,” a statement from his management company, MPC Entertainment, reads.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” it added. “The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”

Warne is regarded by many as the greatest cricketer ever and possibly the finest leg-spin bowler of all time after a career in which he took 708 test wickets in a Test career spanning from 1992 to 2007.

The sporting legend later played in the Indian Premier League and other Twenty20 competitions before retiring from all international cricket in 2013, though he continued to be involved in the game as a broadcaster.

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Australia’s Shane Warne celebrates with the trophy after Australia wins the 2006/07 Ashes Series 5-0 in Sydney, Australia. (Action Images/Jason O’Brien via Reuters)

Tributes poured in for Warne from the cricketing world and beyond after news broke of his sudden death.

“One of the greatest of all time. A legend. A genius. You changed Cricket,” England Cricket said on its official home page.

“Shane Warne was one of only two men to take over 1,000 international wickets. … He will be remembered as one of the greats of our game,” Lord’s Cricket Ground, the most famous cricket venue in the world often referred to as “the home of cricket,” said on Twitter.

Warne’s death comes just days after Australian cricketer Rod March, a hugely popular figure in the cricket community, has died aged 74 after suffering a heart attack—leaving the Australian cricket community mourning.

“Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed,” Warne said in tributes to Marsh in his last post on Twitter, just 12 hours before his own death was reported. “He was a legend of our great game [and] an inspiration to so many young boys [and] girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket [and] gave so much—especially to Australia [and] England players.”

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Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh speaks at a press conference at the Adelaide Oval on Dec. 1, 2015. (Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian cricketer David Warner said he is lost for words after learning about the two cricket legends’ deaths, offering prayers to both families.

“Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I’m lost for words, and this is extremely sad,” Warner said. “I just can not believe it … you will both be missed.”

Regarded as one of Australia’s finest wicketkeepers, Marsh retired in 1984 with a then-world record tally of 355 dismissals. He played 96 Tests for Australia in a career that spanned 14 years.

The star wicketkeeper is fourth on the all-time dismissals list behind South Africa’s Mark Boucher (555) and Australians Adam Gilchrist (416) and Ian Healy (395), earning him a spot in the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.

Marsh is survived by his wife Roslyn and children Paul, Dan, and Jamie.

Reuters contributed to this report.