Fresh details have emerged following the shock death of Australia cricket legend and the greatest leg-spinner of all-time, Shane Warne, aged 52.
The 708-Test wicket great was found unresponsive by friends in a villa he was staying at in Koh Samui, Thailand.
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According to the Herald Sun, attempts by Warne’s close friend and associate Andrew Neophitou to revive him were unsuccessful.
Warne died soon after ordering a new suit and calling two Thai masseuses to his holiday villa, police said yesterday.
Paramedic Anuch Han-iam said Warne was unresponsive by the time he and a colleague arrived at the two-storey villa at the Samujan resort at 5pm local time on Friday.
“Shane’s friends were already trying to bring him back to life.
“I took over doing CPR while we waited for an ambulance.
“They were desperate. I think one was crying. They were really stressed and panicked.
“They kept trying to wake him and I heard someone saying, ‘Come on, Shane. Come on, Shane’.
“I could see they were all shocked and I just tried to concentrate and do my best.
“There were about four or five other people in the room. All men, there were no women.
“The villa was clean and I didn’t see any beer or cigarettes inside.
“There was nothing unusual that made me think they’d been partying. I didn’t know when I arrived that it was Shane Warne. But I know who he is, he’s a star.
“I did my best for him and gave all my energy. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t help him.”
Thai authorities were preparing Sunday to conduct an autopsy before flying him home where he will receive a state funeral, which was accepted by his family on Sunday evening.
“It will be an opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to his contribution to his sport, to our state and the country,” premier Daniel Andrews said.
“Details will be finalised in (the) coming days.”
The Bangkok Post reported that bloodstains were found on the floor of Warne’s room as well as on bath towels and pillows.
Pol Maj Gen Satit Polpinit, commander of Surat Thani Provincial Police, told Thai newspaper Matichon that Warne had “coughed up liquid and was bleeding” when CPR started.
Warne’s manager James Erskine said Neophitou attempted to perform CPR before the ambulance arrived to take Warne to hospital but he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Meanwhile, ambulance team leader Phet Boonrak was quoted telling Thai media that Neophitou performed CPR for 20 minutes.
“His friends were so shocked,” he said.
“They said they had found him unconscious on the bed and moved him to the floor to attempt CPR. In the room, there was vomit on the floor but no sign of injuries.”
Neophitou was an executive producer behind the recently released documentary SHANE.
Staff at the Thai International Hospital told AFP in Bangkok that Warne’s body was taken to their facility around 6:00 pm local time (1100 GMT) from Samujana Villas, a luxury resort in the northeast of Koh Samui.
“No foul play was suspected at the scene based on our investigation,” Thai police told AFP.
Erskine revealed Warne was in Thailand at the beginning of three months off having spent the summer working for Fox Cricket on the Ashes.
“Shane was having three months off and this was the start of it,” he told the Remembering Shane Warne tribute on Fox Cricket.
“They had only arrived the night before.
“They were going to go out for a drink at 5 o’clock, and (Neophitou) knocked on his door at 5.15pm because Warnie was always on time and said “come on you’re going to be late” and then realised something was wrong.”
Erskine later revealed to Channel 9’s Today show that Warne had travelled to Thailand in a bid to get back into shape and had just finished a strict 14-day diet.
“He did go on these ridiculous sort of diets, and he was just finished one, where he basically only ate fluids for 14 days and he’d done this three or four times,” Erskine said.
“It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagne stuffed in the middle, or he would be having black and green juices.
“He obviously smoked most of his life (but) I don’t know, I think it was just a massive heart attack. That’s what I think’s happened.”
Thai police said on Saturday night that Warne had experienced chest pains prior to his death in Thailand, adding that he had a medical history of asthma and heart issues.
Yuttana Sirisombat, superintendent at the Bo Phut police station on Koh Samui, told reporters Warne recently “had seen doctors regarding a heart condition prior to his death”.
Sirisombat added “no drug substance was detected in Warne’s body”.
Warne’s body is set to be transferred to Surat Thani on the Thai mainland on Sunday for an official autopsy despite requests from his family to speed up its return to Australia.
The news is the second devastating blow for Australian cricket in 24 hours with fellow great, Rod Marsh, also dying on Friday having suffered a major heart attack last week.
Just hours before his death was made public, Warne tweeted his sadness over the death of Marsh who was one of his cricket idols.
Warne, credited with reviving the art of leg-spin, was part of a dominant Australian Test team in the 1990s and 2000s and helped his country win the 1999 limited-overs World Cup.
Australian captain Pat Cummins, currently leading the team on a tour of Pakistan, said Warne was “a hero” to the current generation of cricketers.
“The loss that we are all trying to wrap our heads around is huge,” he said in a video message. “The game was never the same after Warnie emerged, and the game will never be the same after his passing.” Warne’s inestimable impact was reflected by his inclusion in a list of the Wisden Cricketers of the 20th Century, alongside Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards.
Bursting onto the scene as a brash young player with a shock of blond hair, Warne became almost as well known for a colourful life away from cricket as he was for his exploits on the field.
The first bowler to take 700 Test wickets with an assortment of leg-breaks, googlies, flippers and his own “zooters”, Warne retired from Australia duty in 2007 following a 5-0 series win at home to arch-rivals England.
He played 145 Tests in total over a 15-year career, taking 708 wickets, and was also a useful lower-order batsman, with a highest Test score of 99.
In addition to his international exploits, Warne also enjoyed a successful career with his Australian state side Victoria.
And while his private life effectively ruled him out of captaining Australia, for all his acknowledged tactical acumen, Warne did skipper English county team Hampshire.
- ‘An honour’ -
Following his international retirement Warne continued to star on the Twenty20 franchise circuit, appearing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and his home town Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League before quitting playing altogether.
He subsequently became a highly regarded television commentator and pundit, renowned for his forthright opinions.
Warne was also involved with team coaching -- most recently at London Spirit in England’s new Hundred competition -- and he worked individually too with current-day leg-spinners.
Warne was divorced from wife Simone Callahan, with whom he had three children. He also had high-profile relationship with British actress Liz Hurley.
India batting great Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter of his ex-rival: “Shocked, stunned & miserable... Will miss you Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around. Will always treasure our on field duels & off field banter.”
Former Australia team-mate Adam Gilchirst wrote: “Numb. The highlight of my cricketing career was to keep wicket to Warnie. Best seat in the house to watch the maestro at work.” Former England Test player Kevin Pietersen, a great friend who had numerous on-pitch duels with Warne, said “#RIPKing” along with a number of crying emojis as the tributes poured in -- including from Richards and Sri Lanka’s Muralitharan
Warne is survived by his three children Brooke, Summer and Jackson.
Portions of this article were originally published at The Sun and were republished with permission.