Several giants of the music world have paid tribute to Shane Warne, the Australian cricketing great who died suddenly March 4, aged 52.
Warne, a proud Victorian and father of three, resurrected the art of leg spin bowling, a skill that’s considered close to impossible to master, and produced some balls that are among the finest ever inflicted on a batsman.
A flamboyant bleach-blonde, Warne would go on to break the world record for wickets taken in Test matches, and enjoyed a following in England, where he played County Cricket for Hampshire, and in India, where he led Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural championship of the Indian Premier League.
Warne’s party-boy reputation was tabloid fodder in England, though purists everywhere admired his talents and his box-office appeal.
One of those fans was his friend Ed Sheeran. The English singer and songwriter, still grieving the loss of his close friend Michael Gudinski a year ago this month, turned to social media to remember the sporting great.
“The world keeps taking incredible people away,” he writes, sharing a picture of Warne with Gudinski. “I spoke to Shane on the anniversary of Michael’s passing this week saying we were both raising a glass of 707 in his honour, and now this news comes out. Shane was the kindest heart, and always went above and beyond to make people feel welcome and special. Such a gentleman. He gave so many hours and years of his life to bring joy to others, and was such an amazing friend to me. I’ll bloody miss you mate. Absolutely gutted.”
Another fan is Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones frontman writes, “I’m so saddened by the sudden death of Shane Warne. He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever.”
I’m so saddened by the sudden death of Shane Warne. He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever. pic.twitter.com/ZW76EbS6GB— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) March 4, 2022
Over the weekend, Warne’s death dominated the front and back pages of newspapers everywhere where cricket is played. Warne will receive a state funeral, with many observers expecting the towering Melbourne Cricket Ground to host the occasion. A statue of Warne stands outside the MCG, and, following his passing, state premier Dan Andrews announced the Great Southern Stand would be renamed the S. K. Warne Stand.
As Australians grieve the passing of an icon, Peking Duk remembered his gift to them.
“Rest in power to the goat Warney,” the electronic duo write on Instagram. “We slid into his DMs in 2017 to record a video intro for our tour and the absolute friendly legend got back to us back enthusiastically with no hesitation and delivered over this magic right away.”
Naturally, the pair from the nation’s capital, Canberra, shared the video that emerged from that special moment. “An icon in many more ways than one. The king of spin, the cheeky slice of Australiana that will be sorely missed. Our love goes out to all his family.”
Warne died of a suspected heart attack during his stay at a luxury villa on the Thailand holiday island of Koh Samui.