County Championship 2021: Matt Parkinson recreates Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ at Old Trafford
Parkinson gave the ball a little bit of flight, which pitched well outside leg stump, and turned inexplicably to crash into the top of the off-stump
Updated - Apr 17, 2021 10:40 am
The legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne is to this day renowned for leaving the cricket world stunned and baffled with a delivery that was bowled ages ago.
It was during the iconic Ashes of 1993 when bowling at Manchester’s Old Trafford during the first Test, Warne spun the ball in a way that left Mike Gatting bamboozled and impressed at the same time.
Bowling over the wicket on a damp and patchy track, Warne bowled a flighted leg spinner, which pitched way outside the leg stump, turned viciously, and went on to hit the top of the off-stump. A speechless Gatting stood still for a moment at his crease, trying to process and come to terms with what just transpired.
Several years later, Warne termed the finest exhibition of leg-spin bowling a fluke “The ball of the century was a fluke. It really was. I never did it again in the first ball of any time. So it really was a fluke and 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 which was pretty, like I said was a fluke really,” he said.
The ‘Ball of the Century’ returns
Despite nearly three decades passing after the incident, the delivery is still discussed and remains fresh in cricketing arenas as it was bowled yesterday, and has even been crowned as the “ball of the century”, perhaps, due to its sheer inimitability. As even Warne, the creator of the delivery himself admitted that he never did it again.
Although, about 28 years later, the unmatched delivery at Old Trafford has found a match. Intriguingly, the same venue witnessed an exactly similar delivery during the ongoing English County championship as Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson left Northampshire’s Adam Rossington with a perplexed look.
Parkinson gave the ball a little bit of flight, which pitched well outside leg stump, and turned inexplicably to crash into the top of the off-stump. Much like Gatting, Rossington took a pause, albeit a smaller one, before he took the walk back towards the hut.
— LV= Insurance County Championship (@CountyChamp) April 16, 2021
It's 25 years today since THAT ball!
Mike Gatting recalls Shane Warne's "ball of the century"… pic.twitter.com/UqhRwyxraU
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 4, 2018