Shane Warne’s “Ball of the Century” in Mike Gatting’s Memory. Warne’s first ball pitched outside leg-stump and then spun viciously across bemused England batsman Gatting to clip the top of the off-bail.
Mike Gatting was “happy” to have been bowled by the “ball of the century.” That open Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne’s career as one of the game’s greatest bowlers. Warne, 52, died of a suspected heart attack on Friday in Koh Samui, Thailand.
Gatting made the remarks in a 2013 interview with the Daily Mail. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the most famous deliveries in history.
Warne’s first ball pitched outside leg-stump and then spun viciously across bemused England batsman. Gatting to clip the top of the off-bail.
Watch: Shane Warne’s “Ball of the Century” video
Warne would go on to win six consecutive Ashes series. Finishing with 708 Test wickets after assisting in a 5-0 series whitewash in Sydney in January 2007.
“Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to him. – And he still doesn’t know.” Said the late Richie Benaud, himself a former Australia leg-spinner, during his television commentary.
Gatting told the Daily Mail, “We’d seen a few bits and pieces of him but nothing special.”
“We thought we’d take a look at him, see what he’s all about and what he could do. But it was a remarkable performance.” Some believe I should have padded it away, but I never tried to lunge at a spinner. I was more concern with being bowl around the back of my legs.
” It was a leg break, and I knew he’d put a lot of revs on it. And we knew the wicket might turn a little, but not a lot!”
Dickie Bird, who was at the bowler’s end when Warne deliver the fabled ball. Recalled it as “one of the best deliveries I ever umpired” during his 23 years of international cricket officiating.
“It was a magnificent delivery,” Bird said. “It obviously turns a long way, but the key to it was how quickly it dip and pitch on such a great line just outside leg stump. I turned to him as soon as he bowled it and said, ‘Shane, you will go down in history.’ By God, he didn’t even come close!”
“I’m happy to have been bowl by it because if it had been some blond bloke who only play about 10 Test matches and got 27 wickets, I would have been really upset.” Gatting added.
“As it was, he went on to become the greatest spinner of all time, so you don’t mind as much.”