Shane Warne to have state funeral – full details as tributes pour in for cricket legend

Shane Warne: England cricket team hold a minute's silence

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Australian cricket legend Shane Warne, 52, died while on holiday in Koh Samui, Thailand. The retired professional, who took 708 Test wickets in 145 matches, was found unresponsive by friends staying in the same villa when they tried to wake him up for dinner. 

Warne, who retired from international cricket in 2007, will be repatriated to Australia, where officials have offered his family a state funeral.

Daniel Andrews, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, said: in a statement: “Shane Warne didn’t just inspire a cricket generation – he defined it.

“To us, he was the greatest – but to his family, he was so much more. Our hearts are breaking for Shane’s family and friends – and they are in the thoughts of all Victorians.

“I have offered a state funeral to his family so Victorians can pay tribute to his legacy and contribution to our state, community and country.”

He added plans would be made “in consultation with the Warne family,” promising to ensure “we honour Shane’s passing and memory.”

In Australia, state funerals are generally only offered to former governors, premiers and other senior public officials, but in the past these have been offered at the discretion of the authorities.

Australian Rules football player Ted Whitten, who died in 1995, was also offered a state funeral, as well as race-car driver Peter Brock (2006) and former Australian Rules football player and charity worker Jim Stynes (2012).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison added he would support Victoria with organising the funeral, and tweeted: “His achievements were the product of his talent, discipline & passion for the game he loved. But Shane was more than this to Australians. He was one of our nation’s greatest characters.

“His humour, his passion, his irreverence, his approachability ensured he was loved by all. Australians loved him. We all did. We are all bewildered today by this sad and sudden loss.”

Further details for when the funeral will be held have not yet been announced, but Express.co.uk will update this story as and when details come in.

Tributes have poured in for the sporting icon, who is widely considered one of the greatest bowlers in history.

Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula has also announced the Great Southern Stand at the MCG will be renamed the SK Warne Stand.

He said: “I can think of no finer tribute to the greatest cricketer this state has produced than to rename the stand the SK Warne stand and no matter whatever happens to that stand in the future whether it’s rebuilt, refurbished, renovated, it will remain the SK Warne stand in perpetuity because his legend will live in perpetuity. “

Cricket Victoria is also planning to potentially rename a stand at the Junction Oval in honour of Warne.

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