The end of the (test) career of one of the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen the world of cricket has ever seen. The man who changed the face of the game, and the pace of the game. The man, who in today’s cricketing world, is probably the only gentleman in the game. The day Adam Gilchrist said good-bye. He finished on his own terms — something that even his greatest fans are proud of.
I still remember watching the man fondly called Gilly play for the first time. This was against the South Africans in a game where he played purely as a batsman. He scored 70-odd runs but it was his fielding that caught me — he was atrocious! He grassed a number of sitters and it was a miracle that Aus, under the leadership of Healy, actually won the game. I must admit when I first saw Gilly I did not like him. This was the guy who was touted as being Healy’s successor…and that to me meant he was going to overthrow Healy who I was a fan of. But then, in South Africa, Gilly gave an interview about his batting and his atrocious fielding, and that made me change my mind — albeit only a little bit. Then came the Titan Cup in India where he played as a wicket-keeper batsman and that got me hooked on to him. His batting and his keeping and the bonus of him being cute. The rest, as they say, is history.
I consider myself priviledged to have been able to follow Gilly’s career from start to finish. I saw him play his first game and his last. (And yes, I will see his last ODI as well). Upon leaving the game, Gilly leave his supporters with fond memories. Who can forget his swashbuckling fastest double hundred against SAF? Who can forget his 149 n.o against Pak to help Aus win from a losing position? Who can forget his magnificent match-winning 100 in his final World Cup appearance? Who can forget the fact that he wore shocking-pink gloves behind the wicket to earn money for breast cancer research? And who can ever forget that he walked when given not out in a World cup semi-final???
Gilly has given much more than just his keeping and batting to the game.
He has brought respect to himself and to the game and is inspirational for young kids today. He is proabably the only gentleman in recent times. His work off-field with kids and other charities is also extremely inspirational.
So Gilly, I would like to thank you for everything…for all the memories, cricketing and otherwise. I would like to thank you for being you.
Until next time,