Shane Warne opened up about his much-hyped “Ball of the century” that dismissed Mike Gatting on the first Test of the 1993 Ashes, stating that it was a fluke. However, the legendary leg-spinner admitted that it was a ball every leg-spinner wants to bowl and he was proud to bowl that one.
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The exceptionally skillful delivery began its flight innocently so as to fool Mike Gatting, drifted to leg, pitched in the batsman's blind spot, then rounded on him fiercely and uprooted his off stump. The delivery also acted as a trend setter for the revival of spin bowling as, after years of dominance by Caribbean pacers, spin had become nearly an extinct quality and very few were practitioners of it. The ball also acted as the hallmark of his career and his bowling became simultaneously a technical and dramatic masterpiece. However, 24 years later since the day at Old Trafford, he stated the ball was just a flash in the pan and as he couldn’t ever replicate that, it was a “fluke”.
In a video shared by International Cricket Council (ICC) on their official Twitter account, Warne said, “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. 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. It sort of changed my whole life really back on the field and off the field.”
Gatting was above all a disdainful player of slow bowling, aggressive even in defence, and blamed by some for failing to encourage England's own Test match spinners sufficiently. But the morning at Manchester saw Gatting becoming the perfect victim-in-waiting of a world class leg-breaker. For Warne, getting him out made his wicket a bit extra special.
“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 and the best player of spin in the England team and he is a good guy too. So to do that first up here in England, it was a very special moment,” the 48-year-old added.