Australian star David Warner has opened up on the tragic passing of cricket icon Shane Warne and how he and the Australian team learned of his death at the age of 52.
“I found out from James (Erskine) after everyone from his family was notified,” Warner said on Fox Cricket’s Shane Warne tribute special.
“Just before it got out we spoke to the guys and we were in the bus ready to come back to the hotel.
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“Everyone was just absolutely gobsmacked. There was silence in the cars and we came back.
“It is just like anyone that you lose it is just like part of your family. You look at the tributes that are coming out around the world we raised a glass and shared some great memories and stories about Shane and what he did for cricket and world cricket in general.”
Warner paid tribute to Australia’s greatest bowler and arguably the greatest ever by sharing his own memories of Warne.
“He has (touched everybody in Australian cricket),” Warner said.
“From my personal stories I had Warnie’s poster on my wall like every other young cricketing kid.
“I just grew up wanting to be like Shane. I started my journey bowling like him and batting in the middle order.
“Through 17s and 19s I tried to replicate everything that Warnie did with his action. I think everyone has seen my action alongside his. I just wanted to be like Shane from a bowling front.
“The special memories that I remember from Shane’s playing days was 2001. It was probably going to be a draw. Both England and Australia got 500. I remember Warnie going for 150 in his first innings and he only took one wicket.
“Then he changed it in his second innings and took 4-40 off 37 overs and changed that game dramatically and England were bowled out for 120.
“To witness what one guy can do from nothing. That wicket was flat and he changed the course of the game. That was amazing.
“The other one was I know he will be kicking himself still to this day was when he got 99 against New Zealand and everyone stirs him up about Daniel Vettori bowling a no-ball.
“Those are small memories of watching him on TV.”
Warner also lamented the loss of Warne’s knowledge of the game as a commentator and a mentor.
“I was in a privileged position of learning from Warnie being around the group and in the commentary box just the knowledge he had of the game,” Warner said.
“Nothing would be happening out in the middle and he would say a few things to a couple of us and we would implement that the next day or in the next game and things just panned out and worked.
“He just knew the game so well. He was loved by every single person in the world that knows the game of cricket and people that don’t know the game of cricket.
“I just can’t believe he is gone.”
Earlier Candice Warner revealed how husband and Australian opener David Warner received the sad news of Shane Warne’s tragic passing before breaking the news to shattered teammates.
Speaking on Triple M Mrs Warner revealed David Warner was contacted by Warne’s manager after Australia’s first day’s play in the first Test against Pakistan.
“I haven’t spoken to Dave but we have exchanged text messages and he said he received the message from Shane’s manager James Erskine and delivered the news to the team,” Candice Warner said on Triple M.
“It was already a hard day with the loss of Rod (Marsh) and other things that have been going on in Pakistan.
“To have a hard day on the field and then come back home to the hotel to that news is devastating.
“I think it will inspire them to want to play and do it for Warnie and for Rod. But whether they can do that or not. It is a lot to take and being so far away form Australia at the moment it will be difficult, but they can do it.”
Australia men’s captain Pat Cummins spoke in a moving tribute to Warne, who he called a “once-in-a-century cricketer” after the 52-year-old’s death.
Warne, an Australian cricket great and the best leg-spinner of all-time, was confirmed to have died by his management in the early hours of Saturday (AEDT) after a suspected heart attack.
It was the second blow for Australian cricket in 24 hours after the death of wicketkeeping great Rod Marsh, who passed away after a major heart attack last week.
Cummins called Marsh a “colossal figure” on Friday in the hours leading up to the first match of Australia’s Test series with Pakistan.
Now Cummins and the men’s Australian Test team has been forced to deal with another devastating loss — as has the entire cricketing world.
NEW PODCAST – Shane Warne: A tribute to the King
“On behalf of the entire playing group and support staff here in Pakistan, I want to express our shock and sadness over Shane’s sudden passing,” Cummins said in a video message.
“We are all numbed by the news. Shane was a once-in-a-century cricketer and his achievements will stand for all time, but apart from the wickets he took and the games he helped Australia win, what he did was draw so many people to the sport.
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“So many of us in the playing group grew up idolising him and fell in love with this great sport as a result, while many of our support staff either played with him or against him.
“It has been a terrible couple of days for Australian cricket with the passing of Rod Marsh and now Shane. Our thoughts are with both families and, in Shane’s case, particularly with his parents Keith and Bridgette, his brother Jason and his children Jackson, Summer and Brooke.
“The game of cricket was never the same after Shane emerged, and it will never be the same now he has gone. Rest in peace King.”
Several other current Australian cricketers have taken to social media to express their shock and sadness at Warne’s death, less than 24 hours after that of Marsh.
Steve Smith, also currently in Pakistan with the national team, wrote that it was “hard to fathom that we’ve lost two Australian legends within 24 hours” in his Instagram status.
Opening batter David Warner, meanwhile, wrote: “Two legends of our game have left us too soon. I’m lost for words, and this is extremely sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Marsh and Warne family. I just cannot believe it. RIP, you will both be missed.”
“Absolutely lost for words. The true GOAT. RIP Warnie,” wrote Nathan Lyon on his Instagram story.
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