Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century' to England's Mike Gatting

The cricketing world is in mourning after the sudden passing of Shane Warne.

Arguably the greatest spin bowler of all time, Warne suffered a suspected heart attack in his hotel room in Thailand and passed away at the age of 52.

The news comes less than a day after fellow Australian great Rod Marsh passed away, also due to a heart attack. 

As well as his playing career, Warne was also a much respected voice in the commentary box, spending his time between Australia and England. 

In the weeks prior to his passing, Warne on a number of occasions expressed his desire to take up the vacant England head coach role. Warne was previously head coach of London Spirit in The Hundred. 

In a career that spanned from 1992-2007, Warne took 708 wickets over the course of  145 Test matches, with arguably his most memorable that of Mike Gatting in 1993.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 26: Former Australian cricketer and FOX Sports commentator Shane Warne is seen during day one of the Third Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

It was the 1993 Ashes series and Warne’s first time in England. 

He had just come off of the back of a great series against the West Indies and had high hopes. 

The delivery dubbed ‘The Ball of the Century,’ was Warne’s first delivery in England and is widely believed to have signalled the revival of leg spin bowling, as well as being highly significant in terms of the context of the match. 

Warne’s delivery initially travelled straight down towards Gatting, but the ball ended up pitching several inches outside of his leg stump. 

Gatting responded with a defensive shot, but the ball landed in a patch of the pitch worn by the pace bowlers which allowed it to turn far more than expected before clipping the top off his off stump. 

Gatting was in disbelief, as was everyone inside Old Trafford.

Australia would go on the win the series 4-1, and for Warne it was only the beginning. 

In the historic 2005 Ashes series in England, he took 40 wickets at an average of 19.92, and scored 249 runs, all whilst being on the losing side.

Shane Warne was the greatest leg spinner of all team and will be sorely missed by all in the cricketing world. Rest in Peace Shane. 

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