Shane Warne dies: Ponting remembers 'the greatest bowler I ever played with or against'

By Sports Desk March 05, 2022

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has joined the tributes to his old team-mate Shane Warne.

Warne, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, died at the age of 52 on Friday.

His passing has left the world of cricket, and sport in general, stunned. 

Masses of tributes have been paid to the former leg-spinner, who took 708 Test wickets for his country, the second-highest total of any bowler.

Ponting, who played alongside Warne for Australia between 1995 and 2007, and was Test captain for three of those years from 2004, has joined those hailing one of the sport's greats.

"Hard to put this into words. I first met him when I was 15 at the Academy. He gave me my nickname [Punter]," Ponting posted on his official Twitter account.

"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, someone who would be there for you when you needed him and always put his mates first.

"The greatest bowler I ever played with or against. RIP King. My thoughts are with Keith, Bridgette, Jason, Brooke, Jackson and Summer."

Another of Warne's former Australia team-mates, Matthew Hayden, tweeted: "RIP Warnie. God only made one model of you my friend."

Justin Langer also played alongside Warne, and Fox Sports reported the ex-Australia coach as having said: "[Warne was] intensely loyal to his mates, controversial — he said it as he saw it. Incredibly generous, and, you know, he was a very kind and generous person but intensely loyal.

"Recently, the way he stood up for me in the last few months, I mean, that was Shane Warne, he looked after his mates.

"I've said this a thousand times… the best thing I did in cricket was play with Shane Warne."

Current Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch tweeted: "[Heartbroken] and shocked… absolutely shattered that we have lost one of the great sportsman and friends! The impact you had runs a lot deeper than cricket. You will be forever missed King!"

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