Draped in Australia flag, Warne’s body to return today

The body of Australian cricketing great Shane Warne is due to be flown back to his hometown of Melbourne on Thursday morning from Bangkok airport, according to a Thai police source and airport officials.

A coffin wrapped in the Australian flag was carried out of the morgue in Bangkok where his body had been held and into a car. Warne’s body was due to leave Bangkok airport on a flight at 0800 am local time, the sources said.Warne died last Friday at the age of 52 while on holiday on the Thai island of Koh Samui.

Local authorities said Warne died of a suspected heart attack and congenital disease.

Warne will be buried at a private family funeral and a state memorial service will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the evening of March 30, the Premier of his home state Victoria announced on Wednesday.

Tributes from across the world have continued to pour in for Warne since his death, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling him “one of our nation’s greatest characters”.

Born and bred in Melbourne, Warne took his 700th test wicket in front of a crowd of 89,155 at the MCG during the fourth Ashes test against England on Boxing Day, 2006. A stand at the ground will be renamed in his honour.

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