Shocked Australia mourns cricketing great 'Warnie'

STORY: "Like even people who weren't into cricket - everyone knows who Shane Warne is and everyone I feel in this country is feeling this to some degree." (overlay with pix of tributes)

A sombre stream of people laid flowers, cricket balls and beer bottles at the foot of Shane Warne's statue in Melbourne on Saturday (March 5).

The country woke to the shocking news that the cricketing great had died from a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Thailand.

He was 52.

His death dominated local media on Saturday, pushing news of devastating floods on the east coast of Australia and the war in Ukraine off the top of news bulletins and websites.

The Great Southern Stand at Melbourne Cricket Ground would be renamed the SK Warne Stand, according to Victoria's sports minister.

Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting paid homage to his fellow teammate:

"It's the ultimate recognition (the stand renaming) I guess of one of the world's greatest sportsmen..."

One of the finest bowlers of all time whose talent and personality transcended cricket...

...Warne was rated as one of the five greatest players of the 20th century by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

But his hard living often made tabloid headlines as well.

The wily spinner frequently courted controversy and served a 12-month suspension after testing positive for banned diuretics in 2003.

Thai police said on Saturday they were not treating his death as suspicious.

His body would be transferred from the island where he died, Koh Samui, to the mainland for a full autopsy to determine the cause of death.