Shane Warne dead at 52: Australian cricketer dies of suspected heart attack, shocking sports world

Mike Gatting, the man bamboozled by Shane Warne in Test cricket’s ball of the century, has hailed the Australian as the game’s “number one”.

Gatting was the England batsman who was clean bowled at Old Trafford in 1993 by a fierce spinning leg-break which which catapulted Warne into global stardom.

The former England captain said that Warne was “without a doubt… the No.1 ever.“

“I just feel so sad for his family. It is a huge loss to many, many people,” Gatting told Sky Sports News.

“I should think there have been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great leg-spinners but Warnie will always be, certainly from my point of view, the number one.

“He had all the things a cricketer needed, a lot of self-confidence, a lot of ability, the discipline, passion and desire.

“Above all he had time to enjoy it. He had great fun playing cricket and resonated with a lot of youngsters. The inspirational leg-spin he bowled I am sure inspired many, many guys to take up leg-spin bowling.

Gatting, who played 79 Test matches for England from 1978 to 1995, said he had never expect Warne’s first delivery in an Ashes series to “spin that much”.

“When we often spoke about it, I am not sure he expected it to spin that much,” he said.

“He said he just tried to get it down the other end the best he could. Well, it was a bit too good for me.”

Shane Warne celebrates victory by dancing with a stump on the dressing room balcony after victory over England in the fifth Ashes Test of 1997. Credit:Clive Mason

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