Shane Warne’s body has been cleared to return to Australia as Thai authorities ruled the cricket legends death due to natural causes and his family released a statement expressing their heartbreak at his loss.
Warne’s family was informed of the autopsy result on and his body will be transferred to Australian consular officials for return to Australia, Thai deputy national police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said on Monday.
Warne was found by friends unresponsive in his bedroom at a luxury villa Friday on the resort Island of Koh Samui.
Despite their frantic attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a short time later of a suspected heart attack.
In a statement Monday night, the Warne family said the night of March 4 was for them the beginning of “a never-ending nightmare”, and the cricket icon’s death was “a tragedy we will never come to terms with”.
“Looking to a future without Shane is inconceivable, hopefully the mountain of happy memories we all have will help us cope with our ongoing grief,” his father and mother Keith and Brigitte said.
Warne’s son Jackson wrote: “To my brother, my best friend, to my Dad, I love you so much. I don’t think anything is ever going to fill the void you have left in my heart.”
Warne’s youngest daughter Summer wrote: “Dad, I miss you so much already. I wish I could’ve hugged you tighter in what I didn’t know were my final moments with you. And your final breaths were only moments away.”
Eldest daughter Brooke wrote: “I am lucky and will forever be so proud to call you my Dad forever. I love you to infinity and back and I will miss you forever.”
While Thai authorities are confident Warne’s death was from natural causes, the findings of the autopsy are yet to be released.
“Investigators will summarise the autopsy result for prosecutors within the time frame of the law,” Mr Kissana said.
Warne’s body was on Sunday taken from Koh Samui island by ferry to the Surat Thani mainland and then on to a local hospital, where the autopsy took place.
His remains are now expected to be prepared for an air transfer home to Melbourne.
More details have been revealed about the Melbourne-born cricket legend’s passing.
“They were desperate. I think one was crying. They were really stressed and panicked,” Anuch Han-iam told British tabloid The Sun.
“They kept trying to wake him and I heard someone saying, ‘come on, Shane, come on, Shane’.
“I could see they were all shocked and I just tried to concentrate and do my best.”
Mr Anuch said the room was clean and there were no signs of partying.
“I did my best for him and gave all my energy. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t help him,” he said.
Bo Phut Police Station Superintendent Yuttana Sirisombat earlier told reporters on Koh Samui island that Warne had been suffering chest pains before arriving in Thailand.
He also had asthma and had seen a doctor about his heart.
Warne’s manager James Erskine has also revealed the cricketer had recently come off a “ridiculous” fluid-only diet.
“He did go on these ridiculous sorts of diets, and he was just finished with one,” he told Nine Network on the weekend.
“It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagna stuffed in the middle or he would be having black and green juices.
“He obviously smoked most of his life. I don’t know. I think it was just a massive heart attack.”
Warne was only three days into a planned three-month holiday.
His friend Andrew Neophitou, who was among the group, had gone to check on him.
“They were going to have a drink … or go and meet someone to go out and have a drink at 5pm and Neo knocked on his door at 5.15pm because Warnie is always on time,” Mr Erskine said.
“He went in there … and then realised something was wrong. And he turned him over and gave him CPR and mouth-to-mouth, which lasted about 20 minutes and then the ambulance came.”
“It will be an opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to his contribution to his sport, to our state and the country,” Mr Andrews said.
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