Cricket superstar Shane Warne died of natural causes, Thai police said Monday, as his family lamented a “tragedy we will never deal with”.
The legendary Australian leg spinner died Friday on the Thai holiday island of Koh Samui after becoming unresponsive in a luxury villa.
Initial reports suggested the 52-year-old suffered a heart attack and Monday’s autopsy results confirmed he died of natural causes.
“Detectives received an autopsy report today in which a forensic doctor concludes that the death was a natural death,” said Krissana Pattanacharoen, deputy national police spokesman.
He said Warne’s family had been notified of the result and had accepted it.
“Investigators will finalize the autopsy reports and send them to prosecutors as soon as possible,” Krissana added.
Surachate Hakparn, assistant to the national police chief, said investigators had found no signs of violence in the villa where Warne was found.
“His father said he (Warne) was suffering from chest pains and planned to return home after this trip for a checkup,” Surachate told reporters in Koh Samui.
Warne’s unexpected death sparked an outpouring of grief from prime ministers, rock stars and fellow athletes.
The player – one of the greatest test cricketers of all time – was found after not meeting friends.
He was taken to Thai International Hospital Samui but could not be revived despite medical efforts.
Officials said his body will now be transported to Bangkok to be handed over to diplomats for repatriation to Australia, where he will be honored with a state funeral.
- In their first public comments since Friday’s passing, Warne’s parents, brother, children and ex-wife expressed their deep sorrow and paid tribute to one of the greatest test cricketers of all time and the man they loved.
“Finding words to adequately express our grief is an impossible task for us and looking to a future without Shane is unimaginable,” parents Keith and Brigitte Warne said in a statement.
“I miss you so much already,” said daughter Summer Warne. “I wish I could have hugged you more tightly in what I didn’t know was my last moments with you.”
“I wish I could have told you everything was going to be okay and held your hand.”
Son Jackson Warne reminisced about playing golf and poker and watching Australian Rules Football while eating pizza with someone he saw as a brother and best friend, as well as a father.
“I love you so much. I don’t think anything will ever fill the void you left in my heart,” he said in a statement.
“You really were the best father and partner anyone could have wished for. I love you so much, Daddy, see you soon.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to one of the country’s “best characters” and announced that Warne would be given a full state funeral.
Over the weekend, fans paid tribute to Warne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – including offers of cigarettes, beer and meat pie – to commemorate an extraordinary cricketing talent with a huge zest for life.
Credited for reviving the art of leg spin, Warne was part of a dominant Australian test team in the 1990s and 2000s, helping his country win the 1999 limited-overs World Cup.