The Unplayable ball

Shane Warne had just played a total of 11 test matches and taken 31 wickets till 1993 Ashes series in England. The pitch was old Trafford, Manchester, renowned for benefitting the spin bowling. Shane warne was a leg-spinner, a type of spin considered to be outdated by the cricketing pundits and public dismissed him as a promising-yet outdated spinner.

Being the only spinner in the Australian bowling side, Warne had been given a mammoth task of delivering wickets due to spin-suitable conditions. Most of the memorable incidences have a longer time spans but this one was just a single moment.

After a slow run up of just a few yards, Warne in his typical style rolled ball over to deliver a leg break. The ball travelled straight down the pitch and landed outside the line of leg stump. The ball mid-air was rapidly spinning and took a turn for the right. The batsman, mike gatting, tried to thrust his legs forward and pushing the bat downward to defend against the ball. Because of the pitching, batsman had to either use his pad or bat as he wouldn’t be out by legs-before-wicket(LBW) rules.

The ball took a turn outcrossing everyone’s anticipation, avoiding the bat and clipping the top of the off-stump. Gatting was left in shock, staring at the pitch for several seconds before accepting that he was bowled out and walking away.

Australia won the ashes that year, due to the tone set by this match. Warne rose to fame and for every good reason, he has a legacy of over 700-wickets in test cricket.           

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