Cricket legend Shane Warne dead at 52

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Koh Samui, MAR 4: Australian cricket legend Shane Warne died on Friday at the age of 52, according to media report, he passed away in Koh Samui, Thailand, of a suspected heart attack.

According to the publication, Warne’s management released a brief statement saying that he had passed away.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement reads.

“The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”

Warne is regarded as one of the finest leg-spin bowlers of all time, bagging 708 Test wickets in a career that spanned from 1992 to 2007.

He later played in the Indian Premier League and other Twenty20 competitions before retiring from all cricket in 2013 but continued to be involved in the game as a broadcaster.

Warne’s death is the second major blow to Cricket Australia on Friday after another Australian legend, Rodney Marsh, also passed away earlier in the day.

The cricket fraternity expressed shock over Warne’s sudden death as messages continued to pour in on social media websites.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said he found it “hard to believe” that Warne was no more. “Such a devastating loss for the cricket world. He literally inspired generations with his magical leg spin,” Azam wrote on Twitter.

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara also expressed disbelief, saying that he was “absolutely shocked and gutted” to hear about the death of a “legend and friend”.

Pace great Waqar Younis shared similar sentiments and said it was a “very, very sad day for our cricket community. The biggest superstar of my generation [is] gone”.

Veteran Shahid Afridi extended his “deepest condolences” to Warne’s family.

With the Australian legend’s death, he said, the “game of cricket has lost what I consider a university of leg-spin bowling today”.

“I was inspired by his bowling from the start of my career and it was always a privilege to play against him,” Afridi added.