Shane Warne suffered chest pains before he travelled to Thailand for a holiday, where the cricketing great died from a suspected heart attack on Friday, Thai police say.
“He had asthma and had seen a doctor about his heart,” Yuttana Sirisombat, superintendent at the Bo Phut police station, has told reporters.
“We learned from his family that he had experienced chest pains when he was back home in his country,” Yuttana said, when asked about any prior illnesses.
The death of the 52-year-old 145-Test veteran on the island of Koh Samui is not being treated as suspicious.
Warne was staying in a private villa with three mates, one of whom performed CPR after finding him unresponsive when he did not show up for dinner.
He was taken by ambulance to Thai International Hospital and later his body was transferred to Ko Samui Hospital.
Warne’s manager James Erskine has told Fox Cricket Warne was only three days into a planned three-month holiday and alone watching cricket when he fell ill.
His friend Andrew Neophitou, who was among the group staying in the same villa, went to check on him.
“They were going to have a drink … or go and meet someone to go out and have a drink at 5 pm and Neo knocked on his door at 5.15 pm because Warnie is always on time,” 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.”
Australia’s ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon spoke to reporters after meeting with Thai police late on Saturday.
“(The) police station and the hospital in Ko Samui are facilitating the process of getting Shane Warne back to Australia as quickly as possible,” he said.
“They have been very compassionate, very efficient and very understanding.”
Sirisombat says the plan is to move Warne’s body for an autopsy in the main state hospital in Surat Thani province on Sunday.
A forensic team has inspected the villa where Warne was found and his friends have given statements to police as part of standard procedure.
Meanwhile, tributes continue to pour in from all walks of life, with newspapers, celebrities, politicians and adoring fans lining up to recall their memories of the legendary legspinner.
Others left flowers, meat pies, beers and cigarettes at his statue outside the MCG throughout Saturday, where the southern stand will be renamed the S.K. Warne Stand in his honour.
The Victorian and federal governments have each offered a state funeral to his family, which includes Warne’s daughters Brooke, 24, and Summer, 20, and 22-year-old son Jackson.
“Nobody who saw Shane Warne play will ever forget him,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday.
“To us, he was the greatest – but to his family, he was so much more.”
Hollywood star Russell Crowe tweeted he was having a hard time accepting the news.
“Genius player. Grand company. Loyal friend,” he tweeted.
Rolling Stones frontman and passionate cricket fan Mick Jagger tweeted: “He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his condolences to the Warne family in a written statement.
“Shane was his own man, following his own path,” Mr Morrison said with agencies.