On Saturday, Thai police stated there was no evidence of foul play in the death of Australian cricket legend Shane Warne, who died of a suspected heart attack while on vacation on the paradise island of Koh Samui at the age of 52.
He would be flown from Koh Samui to nearby Surat Thani for an autopsy on Sunday, police said late Saturday, before being sent back to Australia.
The death of the “King” of spin provoked a worldwide outpouring of mourning from prime ministers, rock singers, and fellow players, demonstrating that the Melbourne native had transcended his profession.
After failing to meet friends, Warne, one of the greatest Test cricketers of all time, was found unresponsive in his luxury villa at the Samujana resort on Friday evening.
“Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” a statement from his management company said.
His body was brought to the Thai International Hospital Samui at about 18:00.
“No foul play was suspected at the scene based on our investigation,” Thai police told AFP.
At an evening press conference, local police chief Yutthana Sirisombat said relatives had “already coordinated with the Australian Embassy so that right after the autopsy’s finished, they will take his body back to Australia”.
Shane Warne had asthma and “had seen doctors regarding a heart condition prior to his death”, he said, adding relatives said the player had previously suffered chest pain.
Sirisombat also said “no drug substance was detected in Warne’s body,” without giving further details.
Credited with reviving the art of leg-spin, Warne was part of a dominant Australian Test team in the 1990s and 2000s and helped his country win the 1999 limited-overs World Cup.
A larger-than-life character, his tally of 708 Test wickets has been surpassed only by fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Warne’s inestimable impact was reflected by his inclusion in a list of the Wisden Cricketers of the 20th Century, alongside Don Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Viv Richards.
Bursting onto the scene as a brash young player with a shock of blond hair, Warne became almost as well known for his colourful life away from cricket as he was for his exploits on the field.
Shane Warne was the first bowler to take 700 Test wickets
The first bowler to take 700 Test wickets with an assortment of leg-breaks, googlies, flippers and his own “zooters”, Warne retired from Australia duty in 2007 following a 5-0 series win at home to arch-rivals England.
He played 145 Tests in total over a 15-year career, taking 708 wickets, and was also a useful lower-order batsman, with a highest Test score of 99.
Following his international retirement, Warne continued to star on the Twenty20 franchise circuit, appearing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and his hometown Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.
He subsequently became a highly regarded television commentator and pundit, renowned for his forthright opinions, and was involved with coaching, working individually with current-day leg-spinners.
Warne was divorced from wife Simone Callahan, with whom he had three children.