Sam Newman and Ricky Ponting fought back tears in raw and emotional interviews when asked the same question about Shane Warne.
The quivering lips of Ricky Ponting and Sam Newman tell us everything we need to know about Shane Warne’s legacy.
The death of the greatest spinner of all time has left the nation and the sports world shaken and in shock.
Former Warne captain Ponting fought back tears on Sunday as he spoke publicly for the first time since the death of his brother-in-arms.
The cricketing legend had to look away from the camera and needed a few moments to collect himself when asked 7News to talk about his personal relationship with Warne away from the cricket pitch.
After 32 years together, Ponting can’t believe her boyfriend is really gone.
“I was shocked, I think, like probably the rest of the world,” he said when asked what his first reaction was to hearing the tragic news.
“I mean I got the messages when I woke up this morning. I went to bed last night knowing I had to take my daughters to netball and then I was confronted with what didn’t seem quite real then and even now it probably doesn’t really seem to be real no more.
“I’ve had a few hours now to digest all of this and think about how (important) he was in my life and reflect on a lot of those memories over the years.
“Because he knew and touched so many people, you can understand that the emotion started among us (former teammates). Like most, I tried to stay away from them a bit (messages text) because I’m finding it a bit difficult to phone some of the boys. It’s a pretty tough time.
Ponting became emotional when asked how he best remembered Warne.
The pair had known each other for 32 years after first crossing paths when Ponting arrived at the national cricket academy aged 15. They’ve won countless Ashes series together, were crowned World Cup winners in 1999, and their partnership has been the cornerstone of most. successful era that Australian cricket has ever known.
Ponting remembers Warne as a friend who transcended the sport and changed it forever.
“Every little kid in the country wanted to be Shane Warne and wanted to go bowling,” he said before having to look away from the camera.
The interview appeared to break briefly at this point, with the camera cutting Ponting in a different position as he described Warne as “one of the greatest sportsmen in the world”.
“It was also the marketing side. He signed that first contract with Nike and you saw him with Michael Jordan as I sat in awe of what Shane was transforming into him,” he said. .
“He will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time, but for a generation every young kid wanted to be Shane Warne and wanted to go bowling.
“He’s going to become one of the game’s greatest of all time, if not the greatest.
“I have never bowled with a better and more competitive bowler, someone who has changed and revolutionized spin bowling.”
Meanwhile, Newman, a famous and stoic figure in Australian sport, also broke down when talking about the warm and caring friend he had at Warne.
Geelong’s great footballer and former host of The football show became emotional when asked about the private side of Warne’s dynamic character.
Speaking to 7News on Sunday, Newman had to catch up by talking about Warne in the present tense. It was hard for him to accept that his close friend was really gone.
They enjoyed spending days together on the golf course and going on trips together. Newman said he spoke with Warne the day he left for Thailand and planned to go car shopping together when he returned to Melbourne.
Newman admits it’s hard to think he’ll ever be able to do it again.
“I have lost a very dear friend,” he said.
“It’s surreal. The day I learned of his death, I was in bed and heard the beep on my phone, ‘Shane Warne found dead’. I looked at it and honestly thought it was a joke.
“It’s amazing to think that we won’t be talking to each other anymore. It’s just beyond belief.
Newman was overcome with emotion as he spoke of how Warne helped him recover from the sudden death of his wife Amanda Brown.
The divisive TV character found his wife lying on the floor of their luxury Docklands flat last year. The autopsy concluded that she had died of an inexplicable aneurysm.
“He (Warne) really cared how I was doing,” Newman said, before putting his hand to his chest and leaning forward in his seat.
“So he did.”
Their emotional tributes follow cricketing legends, Hollywood stars and global figures who have also posted emotional messages about the cricketing icon on social media.
On Sunday, big test Ian Healy revealed another side to Warne – that the wrist spinner achieved everything he did, despite nursing insecurities about himself and his skills.
“Warnie was also very vulnerable,” Healy said on Sports Sunday. “Tubby (former Test captain Mark Taylor) will know how needy he was.
“Even when he came off the pitch and had a good day, he was like, ‘Are you okay?’
“He always needed feedback.
“For the incredibly confident man he was in the middle under the fiercest pressure and displaying the leg rotation skills that were the most difficult in the game, he still needed reinforcement.
“I don’t think Bacchus (Rod Marsh) needed that, I don’t think Mark (Taylor) needed that or myself or Chappelli (Ian Chappell).
“But Warnie, the genius, needed people around him to tell him he was okay.”