‘He was my idol’: Joe Root pays emotional tribute to ‘inspirational’ Shane Warne and admits Australian cricket legend’s death has shocked England team
- Shane Warne died from a suspected heart attack on Friday at the age of 52
- Warne took 708 wickets in 145 Test matches during extraordinary career
- Joe Root and ‘shocked’ England team paid tribute to Australian cricket legend
- The England captain said he grew up idolising the great Aussie leg-spinner
Joe Root paid tribute on Friday to the ‘inspirational’ Shane Warne as a shocked England team tried to come to terms with the premature death of a cricketing legend.
England and the West Indies President’s XI stood in tribute to Warne during a minute’s silence ahead of the last day of this warm-up game before next week’s first Test, with Ben Stokes bowing his head in honour of a man he described as ‘the king’.
‘It’s shocked us all in the dressing room,’ said England captain Root. ‘As a kid he was a massive idol of mine and someone you wanted to emulate.
Joe Root paid tribute to the late Shane Warne (C) who has passed away at the age of 52
‘Shane was a massive influence on me when I watched him in the 2005 Ashes when I was about 14. He made me want to get into the game.
‘You could see his joy and enthusiasm when he played and it was still there when you got to speak to him. He was great to chat to about the game. It’s been a quiet dressing room today. It’s hit everyone hard.’
The last day of the warm-up brought two wickets in nine balls for Stokes, who is still recovering from a side injury and is only expected to play a minimal role at best with the ball in Tuesday’s first Test here at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium.
There was also a welcome return for Mark Wood, who recovered from illness to have his first bowl of the tour. But Ollie Robinson failed to appear after suffering a back spasm on day three as the match finished in a draw.
Root, who will lead England in the first Test against the West Indies next week, said Warne was a ‘massive influence’ on him when he was a young player