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Sporting world pays tribute to Warne

March 5th, 2022
Warne waves to the crowd during the final match of his career in 2007.
Mark Baker/AP

(CNN) — The family of Australian cricketer Shane Warne has been offered a state funeral following his death, Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday.

Warne, widely considered one of the greatest cricketers of all time, died on Friday aged 52 after suffering a suspected heart attack in Thailand.

The sporting world has since paid tribute to Warne, who took 708 test wickets over the course of his distinguished 15-year career.

“Our hearts are breaking for Shane’s family and friends — and they are in the thoughts of all Victorians,” Andrews said in a statement.

“I have offered a State Funeral to his family so Victorians can pay tribute to his legacy and contribution to our state, community and country.

“Rest in peace, Warnie.”

In a tweet, Andrews also said that the Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be renamed the S.K. Warne Stand as a “permanent tribute” to the spin bowler, who was brought up in the Melbourne suburb of Black Rock.

Flowers, photos, beer cans and scarves were placed outside the MCG and under a statue of Warne on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a moment of silence was observed and players wore black armbands in memory of Warne and former Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, whose death was also announced this week, during Australia’s Women’s World Cup opener against England.

During the match, leg spinner Alana King twice patted her black armbands after taking the wicket of Tammy Beaumont.

And ahead of the second day of the men’s test between Australia and Pakistan, a moment’s silence was also held in memory of Warne and the victims of the Peshawar bomb attack, which has left at least 61 people dead and 196 injured.

In the crowd, fans paid tributes to Warne with signs that read “long live the king of spin,” “legends never die,” and “the magic will stay forever.”

“We only heard (about Warne’s death) as we were leaving the ground here yesterday,” Australian captain Pat Cummins said ahead of the day’s action.

“We’ve just encouraged everyone to talk about it, to look after each other. Everyone’s worked through it differently. Everyone knew Shane, some people knew him better than others.”

Ricky Ponting, the former Australian test captain, also paid tribute to his former teammate on Saturday, writing on Twitter: “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, 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. RIP King.”

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