An emotional Pat Cummins has led tributes for Shane Warne after the legendary former Australian star’s death from a heart attack at the age of 52.
The iconic leg-spinner passed away in Thailand of a suspected heart attack, his management company said in a statement.
And it was Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Co who were first to show a mark of respect to Warne as they observed a minute of silence at their training camp during their Test match series against West Indies in Antigua.
Stokes stood at the centre of the team as they paid tribute with their heads bowed.
The current England all-rounder also posted his own tribute, writing: ‘Australian Legend. @rajasthanroyals Legend. Was an honour to know you and work with you. This man is a LEGEND. #theking’.
Meanwhile, former England all-rounder Kevin Pietersen, who was a close friend of Warne’s, tweeted ‘F***’ when the news broke followed by a string of crying emojis and the hashtag #RIPKing.’
English cricket legend Ian Botham wrote: ‘I’ve lost a great friend on and off the playing field. ‘One of the best’ my thoughts are with Jackson Summer & Brooke….RIP Warnster.’
England players and staff led the tributes to Shane Warne as they observed a minute’s silence in memory of the legendary Australian during day four of the tour match against West Indies
Ben Stokes (centre) and his England team-mates paid their respect to the legendary Australian leg-spinner Warner in Antigua
Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram which said: ‘Love ya king.’
Ex-England batsman Ian Bell wrote: ‘Surely not??? Utterly heartbreaking.’
‘There are no words. A hero growing up and the greatest player I ever played against. I can’t believe it. My thoughts are with his loved ones.’
The England team held a minute’s silence for Warne ahead of the fourth day of their tour match in the West Indies.
Kevin Pietersen tweeted ‘f***’ in a stunned reaction to the death of legend Shane Warne
Kevin Pietersen (right) tweeted his stunned reaction to the news of his friend Warne’s death
England all-rounder Ben Stokes expressed his shock at the news of Shane Warne’s passing
Cricket legend and commentator Ian Botham said his thoughts were with Warne’s family
Former England captain Michael Vaughan posted a simple message with a heartbroken emoji
The Indian cricket hero Virender Sehwag described Warne as one of the ‘greatest spinners’
Shadab Khan said that Warne had been his inspiration to become a leg spinner
Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram which said: ‘I can’t tell you how hard it is to get this down in words it just doesn’t feel real to be talking about someone who once was an enemy on the pitch to one who became a great friend off it.
‘Shane was the greatest ever cricketer but more than that his character lit up every dressing room, comm box, bar, golf club & friendship group. His energy & positivity was beyond anyone I have ever known.
‘He was loyal beyond loyal at a time I needed support he was the first to pick up the phone & over advice/help & the most utmost support. I will never ever forget the warmth he & his family gave me this winter when I was down under for Xmas alone.
‘To say I spent Warneys last Xmas with him & his family is so sad but one I will cherish all of us eating Turkey, beef ,the usual Xmas trimmings & the King to stick to his Lasagne sandwich’s with bread rolls plastered with butter – that’s Warney the superstar, the greatest, friends to world superstars, everyone wanted to be around him but ultimately he was just a normal guy who could do incredible things.
‘Leg spin is the hardest skill in our game & he mastered it, he became a great poker player as he loved gambling but it was more the competition and trying to put the psych into his opponents that he loved – just like when he bowled.
‘My thoughts are with his mum Bridgette & dad Keith plus his 3 kids that I know he is immensely proud of. Brooke, Summer & Jackson, we’re are all thinking of you. I am absolutely gutted to have a lost a great friend, one thing is for sure – heaven will be a lively place now the King has arrived. Love ya Shane x.’
England Cricket’s official account posted a tribute to their long-time rival writing: ‘One of the greatest of all-time. A legend. A genius. You changed Cricket. RIP Shane Warne.’
Trinidad and Tobago legend Brian Lara posted a heartbroken emoji with the caption: ‘Am speechless at the moment. I literally don’t know how to sum up this situation. My friend is gone!! We have lost one of the Greatest Sportsmen of all time!! My condolences goes out to his family. RIP Warnie!! You will be missed.’
Jos Buttler was speechless at the news as he simply posted a tearful emoji with a black and white picture of himself standing back-to-back with Warne.
Lancashire and England cricketer Liam Livingstone stated that Warne was the reason why he wears the number 23 jersey.
He wrote: ‘ The day I get my kit, with my new squad number… all came from one man, my idol growing up, the reason I bowl leg spin and the reason I now wear 23. Sad day for the world of cricket!! RIP @ShaneWarne a true cricketing legend!’
Luke Wright, who played alongside Warne for the Melbourne Stars, commented: ‘Shocked and incredibly sad to hear that Shane Warne has passed away. It was a dream come true playing along side him for the @StarsBBL. Thoughts with his family. RIP Shane.’
Mike Gatting, who faced Warne’s Ball of the Century in 1993, told Sky Sports that his death was ‘a huge loss’ and described him as ‘the number one’.
‘Absolutely devastating and I just feel so sad for his family. It is a huge loss to many, many people,’ Gatting told Sky Sports News.
‘Without a doubt, he is the number one ever. I should think there have been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great leg-spinners but Warnie will always be, certainly from my point of view, the number one.
‘He had all the things a cricketer needed, a lot of self-confidence, a lot of ability, the discipline, passion and desire.
‘Above all he had time to enjoy it. He had great fun playing cricket and resonated with a lot of youngsters. The inspirational leg-spin he bowled I am sure inspired many, many guys to take up leg-spin bowling.’
Some of Australian’s finest present and former players also paid tribute to Warne.
Former Australian captain David Warner wrote a message in tribute of both Warne and fellow Aussie legend Rod Marsh who also died on Friday.
He said: ‘Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I’m lost for words, and this is extremely sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Marsh and Warne family. I just can not believe it, you will both be missed.’
Current captain Pat Cummins wrote that he idolised Warne growing up.
He said: ‘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.’
Adam Gilchrist, another former Australian captain wrote: ‘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.’
Brian Lara described Warne as one of the ‘greatest sportsman of all time’
Jos Buttler was speechless as he posted a teary emoji with a picture standing back-to-back with Warne
David Warner paid tribute to both Warne and Rod Marsh who also died on Friday
Sportsmail columnist David ‘Bumble Lloyd told talkSport: ‘Shane was generous to a fault. He lived life to the full, he was Peter Pan, but when it came to cricket, he was serious.
‘He championed the game. He was serious about cricket but he wanted it to be fun. He wanted bowling to be fun, to smile at the opposition when they hit you for six.
‘He had this God-given talent and he was so grateful for it that he always wanted to help other players.
‘Any young spinner who came into the game at whatever level, he would go and talk to them, work with them, give them a pat on the back.
‘He was an immense character, but as a player he was top of the tree. For me, he’s the best I’ve ever seen. Bloody hell, this is bad news.’
England’s official account posted a black and white image of Warne after playing against them
Liam Livingstone wrote that Warne was the inspiration as to why he wears the number 23
Luke Wright paid tribute after playing alongside Warne while playing for the Melbourne Stars
The Pakistani former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar tweeted: ‘Just heard the devastating news about legendary Shane Warne passing away. No words to describe how shocked & sad i am.
‘What a legend. What a man. What a cricketer.’
Sachin Tendulkar posted: ‘Shocked, stunned & miserable… Will miss you Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around, on or off the field. Will always treasure our on field duels & off field banter. You always had a special place for India & Indians had a special place for you. Gone too young!’
Rohit Sharma wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m truly lost for words here, this is extremely sad. An absolute legend and champion of our game has left us. RIP Shane Warne….still can’t believe it.’
Indian cricket hero Virender Sehwag tweeted: ‘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.’
Pakistani cricketer Shadab Khan said: Heartbroken about @ShaneWarne’s news. Rest in peace legend. I used to keep watching him take wickets on TV. So when I started proper cricket, I decided to become a legspinner. Have no words to express my sorrow. Prayers for the departed and family.’
India’s Dinesh Kharthik was unable to register the shock news of Warne’s passing
Former footballer and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was ‘saddened and shocked’
The Indian player Dinesh Kharthik wrote: ‘Shane Warne… Really!!! Tell me it’s not true please. The world will remember you… Rest in Peace #Legend.’
Warne’s management released a brief statement on Friday saying that he passed away in Thailand of a suspected heart attack.
He is believed to have been in Ko Samui at the time of his death.
‘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.’
England’s players held a one minute’s silence in Warne’s memory before their tour game in Antigua
Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan wrote: ‘Sad, speechless, and completely shocked. An incredible loss to cricket. I have no words. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the sport. Rest in Peace, Shane Warne. Sending my condolences to his loved ones.’
His team-mate Jasprit Bumrah wrote: ‘Shocked beyond words. A legend of our game, an icon, and someone who revolutionised spin bowling. RIP Shane Warne.’
Tributes also came in from the world of sport with former England footballer and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker writing: ‘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.’