Shane Warne‘s family have detailed the “never-ending nightmare” they’re enduring following the spin king’s sudden death on Saturday.
Warne‘s body is expected to be transferred back from Thailand to Australia on Tuesday after an autopsy confirmed he had died of natural causes.
The news came as Warne‘s family spoke for the first time, with his parents, brother, three children and ex-wife leading tributes to the cricket legend.
In a moving statement, Warne‘s parents Keith and Brigitte said life without their son was “inconceivable”, while youngest daughter Summer yearned for “more family holidays” together.
“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,” Summer, 20, said in the Warne‘s family statement released on Monday night.
“I wish I could’ve told you that everything was going to be okay and hold your hand. You are the best Dad someone could ever ask for.
“Our time was robbed. I want more holidays with you, more laughs where your smile lights up the whole room.
“More “good night I love you SJ, I’ll see you in the morning”, more talks about how our days were and just to feel safe when you would hug me and you would let me know how proud you are of me and how much you love me.
“You haven’t died Dad, you’ve just moved to a different place, and that is in our hearts. I love you forever, until we meet again.”
Warne‘s 22-year-old son Jackson described his father as his “brother, my best friend”.
“Dad, I love you so much. I don’t think anything is ever going to fill the void you have left in my heart,” he said.
“Sitting at the poker table, walking around the golf course, watching the Saints and eating pizza is never going to be the same. But I know all you ever wanted for me is to be happy, no matter what.
“You just wanted me to be happy, that’s it. So that’s what I’m going to do, try and be happy.
“I am going to miss you so much Dad and you were truly the best father and mate anyone could’ve asked for. I love you so much Dad, see you soon.”
Warne‘s oldest daughter Brooke said: “Dad, this doesn’t feel real and doesn’t make sense that you are not here with us anymore”.
“It doesn’t feel right, you were taken away too soon and life is so cruel,” the 24-year-old said.
“I will forever cherish our final memories together laughing and joking around with each other. We were happy.
“We were so similar in so many ways and I always used to joke that I got your genes and about how much that annoyed me!!
“Well now I couldn’t be happier and prouder that I have your genes. 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.”
Former wife Simone said Warne “brought a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains”.
Warne‘s parents thanked the Victorian government for its offer of a state funeral and for naming a grandstand at the MCG after their son.
But said they would never get over his loss.
“The night of the 4th of March 2022 is when a never-ending nightmare began for our family,” they said.
“For that is the date we lost our much loved and admired son, father, brother and Uncle, “Shane Keith Warne” a tragedy we will never come to terms with.
“To find words to adequately express our sadness is an impossible task for us and 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.”