A close friend of legendary cricketer Shane Warne has opened up about the profound impact of losing the sporting great, offering a glimpse into the personal toll that losing someone like Warne can take on those close to him.
Warne died at the age of 52 while enjoying a holiday on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand on March 4, 2022.
Following his sudden death, Warne’s management released a statement acknowledging the tragedy.
“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement read.
Now over a year on from his sudden loss, former Victorian state captain and close friend to Warne, Darren Berry has shared how not hearing his mate’s commentary during the recent Ashes series was a tough reminder of the void left by his absence.
“Shane and I were best friends I’ve done it really tough, I’m still doing it tough,” he told news.com.au.
“The world lost a great cricketer, but I lost a great friend way too early due to the heart.
“I found it difficult waiting to hear his voice. I would always send him a text message and he’d say ‘what about these sh*t tactics’.
“It’s really hard for me to be missing those things with my mate. And it was a little strange that first Ashes series without him either terrorising them with the ball or giving his comments behind the microphone.
“I really felt his absence during the Ashes.
“His loss has been felt heavily by me. Sadly, he was probably the culmination of a really bad period in my life.
“Dean Jones and I were very close, he died of a heart attack. Rod Marsh was my childhood hero, he died the same day as Warnie of a heart attack.”
Berry highlighted the number of recent deaths within the cricketing community as a stark reminder of the importance of taking care of oneself, encouraging men to prioritise their health.
“There’s a lot of cricketers that have been affected by heart attack heart disease. Therefore, my message is strong. Don’t wait,” he said.
“There’s been a lot said about prostate cancer … heart and cholesterol is the silent killer.
“Most of us men at 50 think we’re okay, we’re good there’s no problems here. And with no signs I went down. And I remember the doctor saying he’s having a heart attack and I could not believe it.
“Not just men, go to your GP, get your heart tested and get your cholesterol tested.”
Warne was widely considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history. He played his first Test match in 1992 and took over 1,000 wickets in Tests and One-Day Internationals over the course of his career. Warne’s 708 Test wickets from 145 tests was the record for the most wickets taken by any bowler in Test cricket until 2007.
Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack recognised Shane’s incredible sporting achievements by naming him as one of its Five Cricketers of the Twentieth Century alongside fellow cricket icons Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Vivian Richards. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013.