Mike Gatting, the man bamboozled by Shane Warne in Test cricketâ€™s ball of the century, has hailed the Australian as the gameâ€™s â€œnumber oneâ€.
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 â€œwithout a doubtâ€¦ the No.1 ever.â€œ
â€œI just feel so sad for his family. It is a huge loss to many, many people,â€ Gatting told Sky Sports News.
â€œI 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.
â€œHe had all the things a cricketer needed, a lot of self-confidence, a lot of ability, the discipline, passion and desire.
â€œAbove 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 Warneâ€™s first delivery in an Ashes series to â€œspin that muchâ€.
â€œWhen we often spoke about it, I am not sure he expected it to spin that much,â€ he said.
â€œHe said he just tried to get it down the other end the best he could. Well, it was a bit too good for me.â€