In a glittering career that brought Warne a Test hat-trick at the MCG, more than 700 Test wickets in total and more than 1,000 international dismissals overall, attention always returns to the ripping leg-break that spun from outside leg to clip off and leave Mike Gatting walking off in a daze.
It was Old Trafford in 1993, and it was Shane Warne’s first ball in Ashes cricket.
Years later, the master spinner spoke to ABC’s Tracey Holmesrecalling what had happened, with a nervous lunchtime knowing he would bowl in the afternoon session, and then skipper Allan Border calling on him straight away.
“So I mark my run-up, I look down there, Mike Gatting’s on strike, I look at my field, it’s pretty good. Graham Gooch is at the non-striker’s end, he’s just staring at me the whole time.
“I just get a little bit awkward, so I tell him in Australian, ‘Hello’, I look down, I’m at the top of my mark, Dickie Bird says play.
“I stand there and take a breath — I’ve got my mate here Merv at mid-off, I take a step … next I hear this, ‘tss, tss’ [next to me]I go, what?
“He goes, ‘Bowl one of those flipper things first, they won’t be expecting that.’ I take another step, ‘tss, tss’. What?
“The wrong ‘un, the wrong ‘un, the wrong ‘un.’ I said, ‘I can knock you over with the wrong ‘un but no-one else, just relax.’
“Allan Border is at short cover – he says, ‘Is there any danger [of you bowling]?’ I say, ‘Sorry, skipper, I’m just a little bit nervous.’
“He says, ‘Well hurry up and get on with it!”
“Take a step, sure enough Merv [whispers] ‘tss, tss. Bowl one of those big-turning leg breaks.’ I said, ‘Mate, I just want to land it, I just want to land it.’
“[I] take a step, I’m away – bowl the ball, it comes down, curves a little bit in the air.
“Mike Gatting sort of follows the drift — if it had been food, he wouldn’t have missed it – but he misses it, hits the top of off-stump, Ian Healy was down here somewhere on leg-side, so lucky it hit the stumps.