CRICKET genius Shane Warne was found dead in a holiday villa yesterday after a heart attack on a lads trip to Thailand.
The spin bowling wizard, 52, was discovered “unresponsive in his bed” by a pal who went to fetch him for dinner.
Shane Warne died after pals on a lads’ holiday to Thailand spent 20 minutes trying to perform CPR
Warne became engaged to model and actress Liz Hurley in 2010, before the pair split in 2013
Dad-of-three Warne flew to the plush Samujana Villas resort on Ko Samui with four friends just two days ago.
The Aussie — one of cricket’s greats and a scourge of England Ashes teams — had said of himself: “I smoked, I drank and I bowled a bit of leg spin.”
On his first night, he shared an image of the resort’s infinity pool.
Warne died just 12 hours after tweeting his sadness at the passing of Aussie wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, his own cricketing hero, who suffered a heart attack aged 74.
Medics called to the villa were unable to save dad-of-three Warne, a Sky Sports pundit and coach of London Spirit in last year’s Hundred.
Police investigating his death said his room showed no signs of a break-in. Senior Sergeant Major Suporn Hemruangsree said: “We found out the deceased was with four other friends and died in the room. The people were sleeping in separate rooms in the villa.
“They were sleeping from afternoon to evening, until about 5pm.
“At 5pm somebody came to call out this person for dinner but the deceased did not respond so they called three other friends to perform CPR for 20 minutes.
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“They waited for the ambulance to come. The doctor announced the death at 6.53pm.”
Police Colonel Yuthana Sirisombat added: “His body has been sent to the state hospital of Koh Samui for an autopsy on Saturday. At this stage we have found no trace of wounds. Tomorrow (Saturday) police will question the witnesses, including his friends.”
Warne was seen chatting to fans at passport control when he arrived in Thailand on Thursday.
A witness said the star was full of life and “looked like he was on a boys holiday”.
Last night his management said: “It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand, today.
“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.”
The spin wizard was described by many as cricket’s greatest bowler, taking 708 Test wickets in a 15-year career.
Off the pitch he was famed for his partying and dated a string of beautiful women including English actress Liz Hurley.
He once said of himself: “I liked loud music. I smoked, I drank and I bowled a bit of leg spin. I don’t have any regrets.”
His death devastated former teammates and rivals. England’s Kevin Pietersen tweeted: “F***!”, and wrote “RIP, King.”
It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand, today. 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.
Shane Warne’s management
Broadcaster Henry Blofeld, 82, revealed Warne had taught him to drink Jägerbombs six years ago.
Next to a picture of himself and Warne in a bar, Blofeld wrote: “My introduction to Jägerbombs during the 2016 Edgbaston Test! Vaughan, Blofeld, Tufnell and Warne.
“What a quartet! I had three! They were delicious and I wanted to go again the next night but they chickened out!”
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan shared memories of Christmas with Warne.
He said: “One I will cherish, all of us eating turkey, beef, the usual trimmings — and the King sticking to his lasagne sandwiches 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.”
England Cricket said of its nemesis: “One of the greatest of all-time. A legend. A genius. You changed cricket. RIP Shane Warne.”
Fan and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson paid tribute to Warne and Marsh “two legends of sport”.
Warne made his Test debut in 1992 and took more than 1,000 international wickets.
His Ball of the Century at Old Trafford in 1993, when he bowled England’s Mike Gatting with his first delivery in an Ashes Test, was the start of his legend.
In the film Shane, released on Amazon Prime in January, he said: “That ball changed my life.”
He captained Australia in one-day internationals, played domestic cricket for Hampshire in England and his home state of Victoria.
In 2006, Warne announced his retirement. His behaviour off the pitch had been as colourful as his heroics on it. In 2003 he was suspended for testing positive for banned diuretic drugs, saying mum Brigitte had given them to help him lose weight.
Warne returned, and in the Third Ashes Test of 2005 he became the first bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets.
In 1998 it emerged that three years earlier the Australian Cricket Board had fined him and Mark Waugh for accepting money from a bookmaker allegedly for information about the pitch and weather.
Warne’s wild partying took its toll on his marriage and he split from wife Simone Callahan, mother of his three children Jackson, Summer and Brooke.
The devastated star revealed he was left alone in his hotel room and cried himself to sleep after the 2005 break-up. He had romanced other women behind her back.
He told the documentary film of his booze battle and admitted: “I think that was the lowest.
“The impact on my children, they wouldn’t get to see me and that was my fault. I would go back and raid the minibar. I was on my own on the hotel room floor, crying ‘you d***head’.” Warne’s ten-year marriage had endured numerous extra-marital affairs.
Simone stuck by him when it emerged he had pestered a British nurse with obscene messages, which cost him the Australia vice-captaincy in 2000.
After several high-profile romps, he tried to get back with Simone but accidentally sent a saucy text meant for a different woman.
He became engaged to model and actress Liz Hurley in 2010, before the pair split in 2013.
Warne’s friend, Sydney radio host Lawrence Mooney, said last year: “His life is Tinder, beers, darts, gambling and cricket. Those five things, that’s it.”
Last September, Warne joked he tried smoking 100 cigarettes a day to cure Covid. He had tested positive, forcing him to isolate and miss coaching in The Hundred.
Warne said: “I’m unfortunately not playing enough golf because I’ve got Covid. Don’t take this as any sort of gospel, and this is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I thought if I smoked 100 cigarettes a day I could kill Covid.
“It didn’t really work and I ended up on a ventilator, so it wasn’t ideal.”
RIP Warnie king of spin
By Julia Atherley
TRIBUTES poured in yesterday from stunned former cricketers and celebrity pals of legendary Aussie spinner Shane Warne.
England great Ian Botham said: “I’ve lost a great friend on and off the playing field. One of the best.
“My thoughts are with [his children] Jackson Summer & Brooke . . . RIP Warnster.”
The England team held a minute’s silence before their tour match in the West Indies.
Former batsman Ian Bell, who faced Warne in two Ashes series, posted: “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.”
Match of the Day host and huge cricket fan Gary Lineker said: “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.”
Boris Johnson said: “Totally shocked and saddened to hear about Shane Warne — a cricketing genius and one of the nicest guys you could meet, who also did a lot to help disadvantaged kids into sport.”
Actor and fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman shared a snap of him with Warne and said he was “in shock to wake to the news”.
Wicketkeeping legend and former Australia captain Adam Gilchrist posted a string of broken heart emojis for his former team-mate.
Cricket fan Stephen Fry praised his “dazzling skill”.
His death devastated former teammates and rivals
Warne and four pals had flown to the Samujana Villas resort on Koi Samui
Warne made his Test debut in 1992 and took more than 1,000 international wickets
On his first night, he shared an image of the resort’s infinity pool