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How A Prophetic Shane Warne Predicted Herschelle Gibbs Dropped Catch During 1999 World Cup Semi-Final

Tanmay Roy

How A Prophetic Shane Warne Predicted Herschelle Gibbs Dropped Catch During 1999 World Cup Semi-Final

Reminiscing one of the most iconic moments in the history of ICC Cricket World Cups on ICC’s Facebook page, Ricky Ponting disclosed how Shane Warne had predicted the infamous Herschelle Gibbs dropped catch before Australia-South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 match at Headingley. Australia, who lifted the silverware for the second time, benefited tremendously from Gibbs’ drop eventually.

“Don’t Walk” was Warne’s clear message to his teammates including captain Steve Waugh, who scored a match-winning hundred against the Proteas. Having hit a Lance Klusener delivery straight to Gibbs at mid-wicket, Gibbs, an extraordinary fielder otherwise, dropped a dolly.

As Ponting narrated the incident on the day of Australia’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semi final against the same opposition at the Eden Gardens, it was on the eve of the match when Warne shared his sharp observations with everyone right after the official team meeting.

“Warnie goes ‘Hey, everyone Stop! Stop! I’ve got something. I’ve gotta say before I leave the room’. He said, ‘If any of you guys hit a catch to Herschelle Gibbs in this game, Don’t Walk’,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ICC last month.

Ponting further explained how Warne was vigilantly noticing how Gibbs used to get overexcited at the prospect of completing a catch. As a result, more inclined to throw the ball up in the air even before completing a dismissal.

Furthermore, Ponting recalled how the team, including himself, barely believed the spin wizard at the time, almost chuckling at the suggestion. However, when the exact same thing happened during the match, every single player in the dugout was shocked.

Did Steve Waugh Say ‘You’ve just dropped the World Cup’ To Herschelle Gibbs?

Chasing a 272-run target, Australia were in a spot of bother with the scorecard reading 48-3 at one point in time. Waugh, who put together a game-changing 126-run fourth-wicket partnership with Ponting, was batting on 56* at the time of receiving a lifeline. In what was his second ODI century, a career-best effort of 120* (110) not only won Australia the match but also laid the groundwork of a World Cup victory.

“You’ve just dropped the World Cup” is what Waugh allegedly whispered in Gibbs’ ears. Since then, it has been spoken of umpteen times, and every cricket lover growing up with the knowledge of the 1999 World Cup has heard of this story.

Ponting, however, refuted citing his experience as an eyewitness from the non-striker’s end. Ponting, who later led Australia to a couple of World Cup victories, considered the aforementioned supposition as a brilliant “media narrative” understanding why people have clung on to it for over two decades.

“Steve [Waugh] said something to him. I think this story might’ve been blown out of proportion over the years cause I was standing at the other end and I was pretty close to what he said and as the story goes, he said, ‘Mate, you’ve just dropped the World Cup’, but I don’t think he said that. He said a few other things but its a good story anyway,” Ponting added.

That drop by Herschelle Gibbs had a domino effect on South Africa’s fortunes further into the tournament. Even though they were tied with Australia at six points each in the Super Six stage, Australia had the upper hand with a greater NRR (Net Run Rate). The same came back to haunt South Africa after a tied semi-final against the Aussies.

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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