gotFormer Australia captain Ricky Ponting broke down tears while giving tribute to his former teammate Shane Warne who passed away on Friday. The legendary spinner was found unresponsive at a luxury resort in Koh Samui, Thailand. Police said there was no foul play suspected in the 52-year-old’s death as he passed away due to a heart attack.
The sudden demise of Warne shocked the cricketing world as people across the globe expresses grief. Warne played 145 Tests in total over a 15-year career, taking 708 wickets, and was also an effective lower-order batsman, with the highest Test score of 99.
Ponting said that he was shocked when he got the news of Warne’s demise on the next day when he woke up in the morning and it still doesn’t seem real for him to accept that his former teammate and good friend is no more.
“I was shocked I think like probably the rest of the world. I mean I’ve got the messages when I woke up this morning. I went to bed last night knowing that I had to take my daughters for netball and then was confronted with what didn’t seem quite real at that time and even now probably doesn’t really seem like it’s real either so I’ve had a few hours now to digest it all and think about how a part of my life he was and reflect on a lot of those memories through the years,” Ponting said.
The legendary Australia captain further heaped praise on the King of Spin and said he never played with a better and more competitive bowler than him.
“Halfway through my career when we turned up to do coaching clinics and whatever else, every young kid in Australia wanted to be more than one of the bold leg spinners. He is going to down as one of the all-time greats of the game if not one the greatest. I’ve never played with a more better and competitive bowler, someone who changed and revolutionised spin bowling back into," he added.
Earlier, on Saturday, Ponting posted a heartfelt note for Warne on social media.
“Hard to put this into words. I first met him when I was 15 at the Academy. He gave me my nickname. 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. My thoughts are with Keith, Bridgette, Jason, Brooke, Jackson and Summer," he wrote.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday said Australians were “bewildered" by a “sad and sudden loss" of Warne, and announced the cricketing hero would receive a state funeral.