Ricky Ponting, one of the best captains in cricket history and a close friend of Shane Warne, wept as he paid an emotional and sincere tribute to the leg-spinner who died unexpectedly on March 4.
Warne, 52, was found unresponsive by his friends at the villa on the island of Koh Samui and could not revive him despite their best attempts. He was eventually pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Ponting first shared his condolences on the death of the cricket master on Twitter and revealed that Warne gave him the nickname ‘Punter’ due to his habit of betting on dog racing.
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… pic.twitter.com/KIvo7s9Ogp
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) March 5, 2022
Speaking on Warne, Ponting admitted that he was as shocked as any other enthusiastic fan of the game and added that he was still able to keep up with the news.
“I was shocked I think like probably the rest of the world. I mean I’ve got the messages when I woke up this morning. I went to bed last night knowing that I had to take my daughters for netball and then was confronted with what didn’t seem quite real at that time and even now probably doesn’t really seem like it’s real either so I’ve had a few hours now to digest it all and think about how a part of my life he was and reflect on a lot of those memories through the years,” he said.
Ponting also hailed Warne for revolutionizing leg spin.
“Halfway through my career when we turned up to do coaching clinics and whatever else, every young kid in Australia wanted to be more than one of the bold leg spinners. He is going to down down as one of the all-time greats of the game if not one the greatest. I’ve never played with a more better and competitive bowler, someone who changed and revolutionised spin bowling back into,” he added.