Adam Gilchrist has opened up about the passing of his close friend and former Australia teammate Shane Warne, who tragically died at the age of just 52.
Warne, who took 708 Test wickets in his illustrious career, was found unresponsive in a villa on the island of Koh Samui after suffering a suspected heart attack.
The leg-spinner spent 15 years representing Australia and over a decade playing alongside Gilchrist, with the pair later becoming colleagues in the commentary box following their respective retirements.
And in an interview with ABC News, Gilchrist revealed that Warne sent him a message on the day he died, praising him for his tribute to fellow Australia legend Rod Marsh who had passed away the day before.
"I spoke to Shane about a week ago," Gilchrist said. "I received a really nice text from him. Probably, I'm assuming, about eight hours before he passed away.
He was just sending me a message, and he was one of the few guys that consistently called me 'Church' after a nickname that probably only those in the inner sanctum only knew about – about being confused by a young English fan and they called me 'Eric Gilchurch'.
"He always called me Churchie and that felt like a term of endearment from a friend, but he messaged me and just said, 'Church, wonderful tribute to Rod Marsh' which I was very honoured to do a voiceover.
"We were not even close to coming to terms with the passing of my childhood hero in Rod Marsh and another legend of the cricket world and Warnie just messaged me to say well done on that.
"So that was the last contact, it's a text message I'll never delete."
Gilchrist also described what it was like to keep wicket to Warne, adding: "It was the highlight of my cricketing career – simple as that.
"Forget the runs or even, I suppose, the team victories were amazing, but to wicket keep to Shane Warne – Ian Healy and I pretty much exclusively had the best seat in the house to watch a maestro at work.
"It was just an amazing angle and, as I say, a really close and personal part of my cricketing journey was that keeper/bowler relationship with Shane."
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