This Year That Day: When Shane Warne shocked the world with the ‘Ball of the Century’
23-year old blonde-haired leggy, Shane Warne kick-started his Test career in England with an absolute reaper of a delivery that marked the beginning of a legacy in world cricket which is still unmatched in today’s time.
On 4th June, 1993, the match was on the 2nd day of the 1st Test in Manchester. Australia were bundled out for 289 and England were well set at 80/1 in the 28th over of the day.
In came the young leg-spinner who had a decent outing in the tour games against Surrey, Leicestershire and Somerset. His very first ball in England, it drifted lazily onto the leg stump and then spat back a yard to clip the top of the off-stump. Mike Gatting was shell-shocked and the umpire at the other end Dickie Bird turned to him and said, ‘Shane, you will put your name in the record books’.
“The ball of the century was a fluke. It really was,” Warne said in 2017. “I never did it again in the first ball of any time. It really was a fluke but 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. It sort of changed my whole life really on and off the field.”