Warne's Ball of the Century: 20 years on

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June 4, 2013 marks 20 years since of Shane Warne's famous Ball of the Century - a delivery still widely regarded as the finest of all time, and one that marked the start of one of the greatest careers cricket has ever witnessed.

Warne's delivery to Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in the summer of 1993 was his first in an Ashes Test match, and one that announced arguably the most accomplished spin bowler ever to an audience wider than his native Australia.

Then aged only 23, Warne pitched the ball outside the leg-stump of Gatting which proceeded to rip viciously out of the rough, somehow evade the seemingly solid defences of the England batsman and clip the off bail.

The celebrations of the Australian players left Gatting baffled, who was unaware he had been clean bowled until given confirmation by umpire Kenny Palmer that he had just been cleaned up by cricket's next superstar.

"It came down in a great area for him and it did spin an awfully long way from two or three inches outside leg stump," Gatting later said of the incident.

"I stood there because I didn't hear the death rattle, then looked around and thought 'blimey, there's a bail on the floor'.

"My foot was in, so I knew I could not have been stumped. The ball had not brushed my bat, my glove or pad, so I thought Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy must have kicked the bail off.

"It wasn't to be. The ball had clipped the bail and I had to go."

The upward trajectory of Warne's career following that Ashes summer, with the leg-spinner going on to become the first bowler to pass 700 wickets in Test matches, with his benchmark ultimately broken by Muttiah Muralitharan.

Warne took to Twitter to express his gratitude at the messages received on the anniversary of the most iconic moment in his illustrious career, which is the ideal pre-cursor to another Ashes summer.

He tweeted: "WOW, can't believe this was 20 years ago today. Thankyou for all your kind messages

"Sorry for all the retweets, but as I said thanks again for all the kind messages, a special day today."

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