Shane Warne always put his buddies first: Ricky Ponting pays a heartfelt tribute to his former Aussie teammate

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting wrote a heartfelt tribute to Shane Warne after the legendary leg spinner passed away in Thailand on Friday from a suspected heart attack. Ponting, who guided Warne to multiple wins for Australia, said the leg spinner always put his teammates first.

A family statement said Warne was unconscious in a villa in Thailand and pronounced dead while being taken to a hospital. Warne’s untimely death sent shockwaves through the cricket fraternity and condolences were poured in.

Warne played 34 Tests under Ponting’s captain and saved 200 wickets from his 708 total. The two cricketers shared a wonderful relationship.

“Hard to put 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 and rode all the ups and downs together.

“Through it all, he was someone you could always count on, someone who loved his family, someone who was there when you needed him and who always put his mates first. Greatest bowler I’ve ever played with or against. RIP King. My thoughts are with Keith, Bridgette, Jason, Brooke, Jackson and Summer,” Ponting said in his social media post on Saturday.

Speaking to Peppystores earlier on Friday, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne’s contemporary and great rival, mourned the loss of the Australian cricketer and said no one contributed more to spin bowling than the leg spinner.

“It is shocking. I don’t know what to say. He is a good friend and also a legendary cricketer. What he has done for spin bowling is more than anyone. He will go down in history as one of the greats of the Age to Die. He was fit whenever I saw him. It’s sad for the whole cricket fraternity. It’s a big, big loss for the cricket fraternity,” Muraliharan told Peppystores.

Warne, who has been active on social media, only posted from Thailand on Thursday evening. The legendary leg spinner shared a photo of the mansion he had stayed at in the Asian nation.

One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Shane Warne won 708 wickets in 145 Tests. His career spanned 15 years from 1992 to 2007. He also became world champion in 1999 with Australia.

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