Shane Warne
Shane Warne. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ricky Ponting bid an emotional goodbye to Shane Warne after the Aussie spin wizard passed away at 52 on Friday. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting paid a rich tribute to spin wizard Shane Warne, who tragically passed away from a suspected heart attack on Friday.

Ricky Ponting shared the dressing room with Shane Warne for a large part of his international career and the duo played a pivotal role in Australia’s incredible domination in world cricket at the turn of the century.

Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting
Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting Calls Shane Warne Greatest Bowler He Has Played With Or Against

Shane Warne represented Australia in international cricket for 15 years after taking retirement in 2007.  In his 145 Test match career, he picked 708 wickets with an average of 25.41 which included 37 fifers. Similarly in his 194 ODI career, he picked 293 wickets with an economy of 4.25.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Ricky Ponting recalled his first meeting with Warne and further called the Aussie great “the greatest bowler I ever played with or against.”

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

“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,” Ricky Ponting wrote.

“The greatest bowler I ever played with or against. RIP King. My thoughts are with Keith, Bridgette, Jason, Brooke, Jackson and Summer.”

Shane Warne died while on a vacation in the Thai island of Koh Samui on Friday, plunging Australia into mourning at the loss of one of the country’s most popular sportsmen.

Adam Gilchrist And Ian Healy Also Paid Their Tributes To Shane Warne

Earlier, Adam Gilchrist and Ian Healy, the two men who watched Shane Warne at closest quarters as he spun his way to 708 Test wickets, also paid their tributes to the great spinner.

“Have often felt a tad selfish, that Heals (Healy) and I pretty much exclusively are the only ones who had that thrill and pleasure at Test level,” Gilchrist had written on his official Twitter account as he bid goodbye to his former teammate.

Adam Gilchrist (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Adam Gilchrist (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Ian Healy, who kept wickets for Shane Warne until he hung up his gloves in 1999, said he had particularly enjoyed watching the spinner bamboozling batsmen with his games.

“I think Warne’s the best bowler there’s ever been,” Healy told Channel Nine on Saturday.

“His greatest skill was to put a ball where he needed to for this particular batsman for long periods of time.”

Thai Police said Shane Warne and three or four other friends were staying in a private villa in Koh Samui and one of them went to inquire about him after the former cricketer did not turn up for dinner.

“The friend did CPR on him and called an ambulance,” Chatchawin Nakmusik, an officer with the Bo Put police, said by phone. “An emergency response unit then arrived and did another CPR for 10-20 minutes. Then an ambulance from the Thai International Hospital arrived and took him there. They did CPR for five minutes, and then he died.”

Shane Warne played for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) between 2008-10. He was the side’s captain, while he also happened to be its coach. Shane Warne led the side to title glory during the inaugural edition in 2008, thus becoming the first-ever and the only captain-cum-coach to win the IPL to date.