In an emotional tribute to Warne with whom he played for much of his 15-year international career, Ponting said he is still struggling to comprehend the unexpected death of his close friend.
“It was so raw to me I couldn’t really speak and every time I thought about him and our experiences and our journey together and I just got short for words,” Ponting told Isa Guha, on The ICC Review.
“Even today I have had the TV on watching the tributes, but every time I hear his voice I have to turn it off.
“It’s been a tough couple of days, but it makes us a bit more aware of things I probably need to pay more attention to and there is stuff there for all of us to learn.”
Ponting knew Warne better than most having played alongside the iconic spinner for much of his international career, where the duo shared numerous Test victories, memorable series triumphs and a successful World Cup campaign in 1999.
But while Ponting lived in the same Melbourne bayside suburb as Warne and even caught up for the occasional game of golf all the way up to his death, the former Australia skipper said there was one thing he will never get to share with his long-time friend.
“I would say just how much I love him,” Ponting said tearily, when asked what he would say to Warne if he had the chance for one final conversation.
“I didn’t say that to him and I wish I did.”
Warne died at the age of 52 of a suspected heart attack at the Thai resort of Koh Samui on Friday, leaving the cricket world stunned and shell-shocked.
“I woke up nice and early I was getting the kids ready to go to netball and Rianna (Ponting’s wife) looked at her phone and told me the news about Warney,” he said.
“I grabbed the phone out of her hand to look at it and I couldn’t believe it and it is still the same now,” said the legendary batsman.
He vowed to ensure the champion leg spinner’s legacy continues through his interactions with the younger generation.
“He (Warne) was a teacher through his commentary and I’ve seen hundreds of photos over the last 24 hours of all the spinners he worked with. He helped Steve Smith in his younger days and Rashid Khan has been catching up with him – just imagine the conversations they would have had.
“So I feel it is now up to me whenever I get an opportunity to just let the world know what he was like and pass on some of the things I learnt from him.”
Ponting also reflected on the special memories he had with Warne while also paying homage to the type of man he was.
“If you spent a day with him (it was amazing to) see some of the names flashing up on his mobile phone.
“It was very rare for Warney just to be sitting at home. He would always try and find time for his friends and his family and that was one of his great strengths,” Ponting said.
“The more people talk about Shane, the thing that will shine through will be just how loyal he was to family and friends and how loved he was. He had the energy that drew you to him and that is a trait that not a lot of people have.”