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Shane Warne was loved by Australian cricketers, says captain Pat Cummins

FILE - Australian cricketing great Shane Warne chats with a customer during a book signing event for his new autobiography titled ’No Spin’, in Melbourne on October 19, 2018. Warne, Test cricket's second-most prolific wicket-taker with 708 scalps, in his new book has endorsed one of the most controversial figures in cricketing history, while also renewing his decades-old feud with former captain Steve Waugh. Photo: William West/AFP

FILE - Australian cricketing great Shane Warne chats with a customer during a book signing event for his new autobiography titled ’No Spin’, in Melbourne on October 19, 2018. Warne, Test cricket's second-most prolific wicket-taker with 708 scalps, in his new book has endorsed one of the most controversial figures in cricketing history, while also renewing his decades-old feud with former captain Steve Waugh. Photo: William West/AFP

Published Mar 5, 2022

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Islamabad — Australian captain Pat Cummins, currently leading the team on a tour of Pakistan, said legendary spinner Shane Warne, who died Friday, was "a hero" to the current generation of cricketers.

"So many guys in this team and squad still hold him as a hero," he said in a video message released to media Friday night.

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"The loss that we are all trying to wrap our heads around is huge. The game was never the same after Warnie emerged, and the game will never be the same after his passing."

ALSO READ: From ’ball of the century’ to drug scandal ... Shane Warne, a spin genius with soap-opera life

Warne, widely regarded as one of the best Test players of all time, died of a suspected heart attack in Thailand, aged 52.

The news came just hours after the death was announced of fellow Australian great Rod Marsh, one of cricket's outstanding wicketkeepers.

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"It has been a really tough day after the passing of Rod. We just wish the best for both families," said Cummins.

ALSO READ: Tributes pour in ... Shane Warne ’inspired generations with his magical leg spin’

The Australians are playing in Pakistan for the first time since 1998, having declined to tour previously because of security issues.

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Pakistan were 245 for one at the close of play on the first day of the opening Test in Rawalpindi on Friday.

"Warnie was an all-time great, a once-in-a-century type cricketer, and his records will live on forever," Cummins said.

ALSO READ: One of the greats of the game ... SA sporting stars pay tribute to Shane Warne

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"We all grew up watching Warnie, idolising him. We all had his posters on the wall."

Cummins said Warne was "loved" by Australia's cricketers, who also admired his showmanship.

"He was their all-time favourite player," he said.

"The way he just willed himself and the team around him to win games for Australia... and above all else, his incredible skill as a leg spinner."

AFP

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