On this day in 1993 Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne delivered ‘The Ball of the Century. Australia leg-spinner bowled the iconic delivery to England’s Mike Gatting to leave the cricketing world in disbelief.
The magical delivery came in a game against England in 1993. Alike the entire world, Mike Gatting was surprised with the amount of spin the ball generated after pitching. Warne’s flighted delivery pitched outside leg stump, and as Gatting went on to leave it, the top of his off-stump was knocked over. It was hard to comprehend for everyone who saw it; it still is.
Wicketkeeper Ian Healy behind the stumps had followed the movement of the ball and took half a second to realize what had happened, he jumped in jubilation as Mike Gatting still looked bamboozled.
Warne has shed light on how the ball of the century came as a big turnaround in his life and how it did impact his life.
“The ball of the century was a fluke. It really was. I never did it again in the first ball of any time. So it really was a fluke and I think it was meant to be,” Warne told ICC. Amazingly, it was his first delivery ever in Ashes cricket.
On his first Ashes appearance at Old Trafford in Manchester, a venue that traditionally favoured spinners, besides Gatting, Warne also bamboozled the likes of Graham Gooch, England captain at the time, Mike Atherton and Robin Smith with his brilliance.
According to Warne, the delivery changed his life both on and off the field. “As a leg-spinner, you always try to bowl a perfect leg-break every ball and I managed to do it first up which was pretty, like I said, was a fluke really,” he said.
“It sort of changed my whole life really back on the field and off the field. It was one of those deliveries which all leg-spinners want to bowl and I am proud that I have bowled it, especially to someone like Mike Gatting, who was a fantastic player.”
We’re never getting over this, Warney 🤩pic.twitter.com/JXEAU9KGhR
— ICC (@ICC) June 4, 2020