Kushil Gunasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan remembers Shane Warne

Written by Rohit Pawar

Shane Warne, one of cricket’s all-time greats and legendary Australian spinner, died on Friday at the age of 52 due to a “suspected heart attack.”

Reactions poured in from the cricket fraternity as the entire cricketing world mourned the demise of a true legend of the sport. Warne, a World Cup winner in 1999, was considered one of the best spinners to have played the game.

World’s greatest spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and his long time associate Kushil Gunasekera, who is also the founder trustee of Foundation Of Goodness (FOG) – A holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities in Sri Lanka – have also paid tribute to spin wizard.

In their playing days, Shane Warne and Muralitharan were great on-field rivals. Both played a key role in re-shaping the art of spin bowling, and Muralitharan cannot come to terms that Warne is no more.

“It is shocking and unbelievable. It is very painful for the entire fraternity and fans around the world. It is a big loss,” Muralitharan said.

In their playing days, Sri Lanka and Australia always had a fiery cricketing rivalry. But the two made sure that off the field, they did not have any animosity. “Media made it more competitive. We were playing for each other’s country and the target was always to bring out our best. We were competitive on the field but off the pitch, we were really good friends,” Muralitharan said.

In 2007, Cricket Australia and Sri Lanka Cricket named the Test series between the two sides the Warne–Muralitharan Trophy in the duo’s honour.

After retiring from international cricket, a decade ago, both Muralitharan and Warne played several legends tournaments overseas and their bonding only grew stronger over the years. They would even meet during the Indian Premier League (IPL) where Muralitharan was part of the coaching staff for Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Warne was associated with Rajasthan Royals. “He lived the life he wanted to. That’s the biggest thing. I am saying it again, 52 is not the age to die,” he added.

Gunasekera, while mourning the loss of the Warne, remembered his contribution at FOG also.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the untimely demise of the Australian cricketing great, Shane Warne, who was the 1st ever international legend to rush to the site of the Foundation of Goodness project headquarters in Seenigama when the whole village was in ruin, debris and rubble following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

We will never forget his support together with 60 Minutes Australia to create awareness and promote the need to rebuild after the unprecedented devastation.

He will always be celebrated for his amazing cricket prowess and his heartwarming concern in our hour of need” Gunasekera said.

About the author

Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.