Australian cricket great Shane Warne had experienced chest pains prior to his death on Koh Samui and had asthma and some heart issues, police said on Saturday, citing information from Warne’s family.
One of the finest bowlers of all time whose talent and personality transcended cricket, Warne died aged 52 on Friday a day after arriving on the island of Koh Samui for a vacation.
Shane Keith Warne was an Australian cricketer. A right-arm leg spinner, he is widely considered as one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history, and in 2000 he was selected by a panel of cricket experts as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, the only specialist bowler and the only one still playing at the time.
After retirement, he regularly worked as a cricket commentator, predominantly on Australia’s Nine Network. He worked for charitable organizations and also endorsed commercial products. In recognition of his skill, a statue of him bowling was placed outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Warne revolutionized cricket thinking with his mastery of leg-spin, which had come to be regarded as a dying art.
“He had asthma and had seen a doctor about his heart,” Pol Col Yuttana Sirisombat, superintendent at the Bo Phut police station on Koh Samui, told reporters.
Asked about any illnesses before his death, he said: “We learned from his family that he had experienced chest pains when he was back home in his country.”
Warne was discovered unconscious in his room in a villa he shared with three associates in the Bo Phut area of the popular holiday island.
Medics and hospital staff were unable to revive him. Police have ruled out foul play but said an autopsy was required to confirm the cause of death.
Australians and the cricket world paid tribute to the man known to compatriots simply as “Warnie” on Saturday after his country woke to the news of his death from a suspected heart attack.
Pol Col Yuttana declined to comment when asked about the likely cause of death.
He said the Australian’s body would be transferred to Surat Thani Hospital in Muang district on Sunday for autopsy.
Australian embassy officials assisting police declined to comment to media on Koh Samui.
Earlier on Saturday, three men that police confirmed were Warne’s traveling companions were questioned for two hours at the Bo Phut police station. They returned to the station later in the evening and were in discussions for more than two hours, but were not under questioning.
Police had earlier said that his companions were not under suspicion and that the interviews were procedural.