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Who was Shane Warne, the man with the 'Ball of the Century'?

Many of us woke up to the sad news that famous Australian cricketer Rod Marsh had passed away. And then a few hours later, a much younger star was lost.

Who was Shane Warne, the man with the 'Ball of the Century'?
Jason O'BrienAction Images

Sad news came through on Friday that Legendary Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh had died aged 74 after a heart attack. Tributes immediately began to pour in. What stunned the sporting world shortly after that, however, was the news that countryman Shane Warne had also passed away, at the much younger age of 52.

Shane Warne RIP

Warne's management had released a brief statement, reported by Fox Sports, that he had died in Thailand of a suspected heart attack.

Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement said. “The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.'

‘The Ball of the Century’

The reaction on social media was an outpouring of shock, grief and of memories of a true great of the world of sport. Even those people with little interest in cricket will be able to appreciate the skill and talent in that bowling arm by reviewing video clips of his best moments. Although watching them all will need you to reserve quite some time.

It would be easy to list off several of his many, many magical deliveries, but let me just remind you - or inform you - of one in particular. It became known as the ‘Ball of the Century’.

Picture the scene. It’s the Ashes series - England vs Australia (one of the greatest sporting rivalries) - in Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground, on 4 June 1993. This young guy, with striking blond hair, steps up and bowls for the first time against England, in his first Ashes Test. A slow few paces is followed by the toss, spinning wildly in the air it lands out to the right, landing several inches outside Mike Gatting’s leg stump. The batsman stepped out with bat and pad ready to nullify it.

Instead, though, the ball landed on a worn piece of turf, which helped the ball grip and it spun more than anyone imagined it would. As it hit the stumps, seeing the end of Gatting’s time at the wicket, a quick glance at his eyes and those of the umpire gave an immediate indication of how special it was. Forever remembered, just as the Shane Warne will be.


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