By Bipin Dani
Muttiah Muralitharan has lost his cricket partner. Shane Warne, one of Australia’s greatest Test -cricketers, died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 52.
“It (the age of 52) is not the age for any cricketer to leave,” Muralitharan said.
“It is very shocking news and very hard to digest. We can’t believe it. He was a legendary cricketer. We both played in the same era. The world of the cricket fraternity will miss him. It is a big loss for the game. All his fans will miss him,” Murali added.
Warne was the second-highest Test wicket-taker (708) after Murali’s 800.
The series between Sri Lanka and Australia is played for the Warne-Muralitharan trophy.
“It is a very black day in international cricket as two great players, Rod Marsh and Warne, passed away on the same day. It will not be surprising if the players of both teams, or at least the Sri Lankans, wear a black armband on the second day of the ongoing Mohali Test on Saturday.”
Warne’s manager, James Ereskine said, “Warne, along with his four friends, went to Thailand (from Melbourne) on Wednesday. He was not on any cricketing assignment but on a holiday. One among the four there is our office staff”.
“The dead body will be brought to Australia for his final rites. It may take a few more days as the High Commissioner’s office is also involved in the process”