Warne – a larger-than-life character whose 708 Test wickets has only been surpassed by contemporary rival and fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan – could not be revived after being found unresponsive in his Thailand villa.
“It is with great sadness we advise that Shane Keith Warne passed away of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand today, Friday 4 March,” a statement from his management company read.
Victorian Warne announced himself on the world stage when he delivered the ball of the century with his first ball of the 1993 Ashes tour, bowling Mike Gatting with a ball that turned from well outside leg stump to clip the off bail.
The delivery instantly wrote the Aussie with the bleached blond hair into folklore.
He was banned in 2003 for taking a prohibited substsance - which he blamed on his mother for giving him a diuretic to 'improve his appearance'.
But he returned in 2004 and in the Third Ashes Test of 2005, he became the first bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets.
The father-of-three spent a period in his formative years playing for Accrington in the Lancashire League.
As well as his Test wickets, he also took 293 One-Day International wickets and made more than 300 appearances for Australia across all formats.
He has taken more wickets than any other bowler in Ashes cricket, with 195.