Sydney, Jun 2 (ANI): Australian spin legend Shane Warne's first ball, on day two of the opening Test of the 1993 Ashes series, was the 'best delivery of the century' and 'rebirth of spin bowling' and had shaped an entire generation, according to cricketing legends.
According to News.com.au, the moment, which made Warne a superstar and the king of spin, came when he rolled his right arm over for the first time in Ashes cricket on English soil and skittled veteran England No. 3 Mike Gatting.
The report further said that Warne's ball of the century, also known as the Gatting ball, has not faded with time like Warne and remains one of the most memorable moments in cricket, especially for Australian fans.
Australian legend and current cricket commentator Richie Benaud had said that the ball is the best delivery he has ever seen, despite his bias for wrist spinners, adding that the ball is the delivery of not only that century, but of all time.
Retired wicketkeeper-batsman Ian Healy reminisced about that fateful day, saying that despite Warne being distracted by legendary quick Merv Hughes' jokes, he did not lose focus and bowled his famous delivery, although he added that at the time, no one knew how big that first ball was going to be.
Although Healy said that he is not sure about the delivery being the 'ball of the century' as he had seen him bowl better deliveries, he, however, added that the ball changed Warne's life with its impact as it was his first ball on his first Ashes tour, which made him suddenly emerge as a legend.
Healy further said that the ball's significance on as well as off the field is the way it affected the opposition, and the confidence of Warne.
Agreeing with Healy, former Oz Test opener Mark Taylor said that the real legacy of that ball was its ability to give fresh life to a slow-bowling art that had grown stale, adding that until that moment, cricket had been dominated mainly by the West Indies, and before that Australia, with fast bowling.
According to the report, Warne also does not believe that that ball is one of his best as he regularly cites his 1996 ball that rolled West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul from the edge of the SCG pitch as his best-ever delivery.
Analysts have measured the revolutions Warne ripped on the ball showing it drifted in the air anywhere from 23cm - nine inches in the old money - the width of a set of stumps up to 58cm, the report added. (ANI)