Shane Warnes manager James Erskine said on Sunday his family was devastated and shocked at the news of the legendary Australian cricketer’s untimely death on Friday. Warne died aged 52 from a suspected heart attack on his personal trip to Thailand, sending shockwaves through the cricket fraternity.
Warne’s longtime manager Erskine said his kids still can’t believe the news and hope it was just a bad dream.
“The three children are in shock,” Erskine said on Nine Network’s Today morning show on Sunday.
“I spoke to them yesterday and … Jackson just said, ‘We’re expecting him to come in the door. It’s like a bad dream’.”
Warne had Jackson, Summer and Brooke with Simone Callahan, to whom he was married for 10 years until they divorced in 2005.
According to a family statement, Warne was found unconscious at his villa in Thailand on Friday night and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. Doctors said Warne may have died before reaching the hospital in Thailand.
Thai police said Warne had chest pains and had asthma and some heart problems before his death. They did not treat his death as suspicious.
“Keith, Shane’s father, is a pretty strong person, but like everyone, he’s just devastated, they can’t believe what happened,” Erskine said.
HEART ATTACK THE CAUSE OF DEATH
On Sunday, Warne’s body, flanked by the Australian ambassador and local police, arrived in the southern city of Surat Thani for an autopsy after a 90-minute ferry ride from Koh Samui.
Police said there was no evidence the cause of death was not a heart attack.
“Based on the evidence, we see no other possible cause of death,” said Bo Phut Police Superintendent Yutthana Srisombat.
“His friends also said he has had chest pains since he was in Australia, but we still need an autopsy result to find out the true cause of death.”
Erskine said Warne is known for his extremes.
“He was on these ridiculous diets, and he just finished one,” Erskine said.
“It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagne in the middle, or he had black and green juices.”
He said that Warne “obviously” smoked for most of his life. In Melbourne, some of the tributes laid at the Warne statue in front of the Melbourne Cricket Ground were cigarettes. “I think it was just a massive heart attack,” Erskine said.