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Former Australian skipper Allan Border revealed that he didn’t want the England team to get used to Shane Warne and thus he wanted to keep him under the wraps for the 1993 Ashes series. Allan Border-led Australia had obliterated England 4-0 on their previous tour to the English shores. Subsequently, England was looking for revenge in the 1993 series but Australia once again came on top and won the series 4-1.
Shane Warne had already shown the skills to be a big match-winner and Border wanted to throw his ace card at the right time in the Ashes. On this day, 27 years ago, Warne bowled the ball of the century to Mike Gatting, leaving England’s right-hander completely bamboozled.
Shane Warne was a magician
“We didn’t want to show England anything, that we had this kid up our who we suspected could be the real deal,” Border was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au. “I was really excited about what I was seeing and what he potentially could bring to the table so I was keen to keep him under wraps,” he added.
The ball pitched outside the leg-stump and turned miles to hit the top of off-stump after beating the outside edge of Gatting’s bat. The right-hander was stunned as he had no chance against that magical delivery from Warne.
Warne had made his debut in 1992 but he announced himself at the big stage in the 1993 Ashes. The leg-spinner scalped 34 wickets in the six Test matches at an average of 25.79 in that series and finished as the leading wicket-taker.
“I was just happy Mike Gatting was out to the first ball from Warne. When we got into the huddle everyone was like ‘gee AB, that was a pretty special delivery’, I’m sort of ‘yeah yeah yeah, whoop-de-doo’.
“Then I saw the replay and went ‘wow’,” Border said.
Shane Warne went on to become one of the best spinners to ever embraced the game. Warne was a magician and he had the skills to get the turn on any kind of surface. The legendary leg-spinner finished with 708 Test wickets in 145 Test matches at an average of 25.41.