Home > Shane Warne’s career was launched with the century ball.

Shane Warne’s career was launched with the century ball.

by Navyatha Sandiri
Shane Warne

Shane Warne, the legendary cricketer, made his Ashes debut against England at Old Trafford in Manchester in 1993. The ‘ball of the century’ was Warne’s brilliantly pitched leg-spinner against Mike Gatting. For the Baggy Greens, the legendary spinner grabbed 708 wickets in 145 Test matches. At the age of 52, Spin legend Warne died of a suspected heart attack.

With The Ball of the Century, Warne broke into our consciousness.

It took place on June 4, 1993, at Old Trafford in Manchester. Warne, bowling for the first time in an Ashes series in England, twisted the ball across the Englisman to castle him, beating him with drift and spin. Mike Gatting took guard against Warne.

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Former Australian captain and great pundit Richie Benaud recounted the spectacular moment in a matter-of-fact tone.

“He has completed the task. He began with the most stunning speech. Gatting has no idea what happened to it and still has no notion….a raised eyebrow and a small nod was all that was required, “In his unique style, Benaud paints a simple picture of the “Ball of the Century.” Former England captain Graham Gooch later said of Gatting’s response, “He looked as though someone had just nicked his lunch,” referring to Gatting’s rotundity.

“How someone can spin a ball the width of Gatting boggles the mind,” journalist Martin Johnson stated, and Gooch added, “If that had been a cheese roll, it would never have gotten past him.” The Irish chamber pop trio The Duckworth Lewis Method wrote a song about the Ball of the Century called “Jiggery Pokery” in 2009. Warne had played 11 Tests for 30 wickets at that stage, with an unflattering average of 30.

Warne made his Test debut against India in Sydney in 1991, but Indian batters, particularly current India head coach Ravi Shastri, plunder him for a ton of runs. But, after that away series against England, Warne’s career took off, culminating with him taking more than 700 Test victims, second only to Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne of Australia had proclaimed his entrance in the high-profile Ashes series by producing a peach of a delivery to startle England batter Mike Gatting at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester in 1993. When Allan Border’s Australia traveled England for the final Ashes Test series in the 1993-1994 season, the blond earring-wearing leg spinner was busy building a name for himself in international cricket.

Warne’s first delivery during his Ashes debut caught Gatting off guard and stunned the entire cricket fraternity, despite the fact that he was only 11 Tests into his promising career. The Australian spin master pitched the ball outside leg and made it curve in an unusual way, kissing Gatting’s off stump and confounding the batsman.

No one saw it coming, and even the pundits were taken aback by the leg spinner from Australia. In the 1993 Ashes against Gatting, Warne’s superbly pitched leg-spinner became the ‘ball of the century,’ catapulting a teenage Warne into celebrity. The elegant leg-spinner was an integral part of Australia’s famous Ashes series victory over bitter rivals England.

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Warne has already told ICC about the ‘ball of the century’ and how the extraordinary delivery impacted his life forever. “The Century Ball was a fluke. I never did it again after that, but I believe it was meant to be. We always aim to bowl a flawless leg-spinner as a leg-spinner; it revolutionized my life both on and off the field. Mike Gatting was England’s top spinner, therefore it was a significant event for him “In a video provided by ICC, Warne stated.

In the first innings against England in Manchester, Warne took four wickets and allowed 51 runs. The Australian spinner took another four wickets in the second innings, conceding 86 runs. At the time, Warne’s bowling masterclass helped Australia to a 179-run victory over England. In the 1993 Ashes, Warne was named Player of the Series as Australia thrashed England 4-1. Warne was one of the finest spinners in cricket history, with 708 wickets in 145 Test matches for the Baggy Greens “inputs from www.timesnownews.com”.

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