Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne has died suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 52 after collapsing in Thailand.
The Australian cricketer turned pundit and businessman, considered the greatest leg spinner in history, was found unconscious in a villa in the resort of Ko Samui today.
His death was announced just 12 hours after he tweeted his shock and grief at the death of Australia’s great wicket-keeper Rodney Marsh, who also died this morning following a cardiac arrest.
‘It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday 4 March,’ a statement from the management company read.
The statement added: ‘Shane was found unresponsive in his Villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived. The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.’
MailOnline reports that he landed in Thailand yesterday with friends, having seen him chatting to fans at passport control. One person who saw him in an immigration queue said Warne was said to be full of life and ‘looked like he was on a boys holiday’.
The news was met with shock by former teammates and rivals alike.
English cricketer Kevin Pietersen tweeted: ‘F***!’ and a series of sobbing face emojis, with the hashtag #RIPKING.
The playboy larrikin of Australian cricket took 708 wickets in his illustrious 15-year career but was equally as noted for his life off the field as on it.
He delivered the Ball of the Century with his first ball of the 1993 Ashes tour, bowling Mike Gatting with a ball that turned from well outside leg stump to clip the off bail. and instantly wrote himself into folklore.
He was banned in 2003 for taking a prohibited substance – which he blamed on his mother for giving him a diuretic to ‘improve his appearance’.
But he returned in 2004 and in the Third Ashes Test of 2005, he became the first bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets.
Off the field, his exploits, beloved by the British tabloids took their toll on his marriage and he split from wife Simone, mother of his three children.
He was famously pictured in the News of the World in his underwear with models Coralie Eichholz and Emma Kearney following his divorce.
But he shocked the world when he later became engaged to English actress Liz Hurley in 2010, before the pair eventually split in 2013.
She reinvented him from knockabout Aussie to a debonair gentleman with a sleek new look and tamed some of his party spirit.