Gilchrist announces retirement

Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Adelaide: Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who was under scanner after his dismal show with both bat and gloves in the recent past, has decided to call it a day at the end of the Australian summer.

Gilchrist said he would retire from Tests after the ongoing match against India and will quit ODI scene after the forthcoming Commonwealth Bank tri-series.

Gilly, who will be remembered for his acrobatic acts behind the stumps and high voltage shots in front, announced this shocking decision hours after he broke Mark Boucher's record of most Test dismissals.

"I've come to this decision after much thought and discussion with those most important to me," he said. "My family and I have been fortunate to have had an amazing journey full of rich experiences throughout my career and are sincerely grateful to all who have helped make this stage of our lives so fulfilling."

"I am now ready and excited to move into the next phase of my life which will, of paramount importance include much more time with Mel, Harrison, Annie and Archie.

"Thank you to Cricket Australia, the Western Australian Cricket Association and Cricket NSW for providing me the opportunity to play First-Class cricket and for the support over the many years.

"Also thank you to all my team mates and support staff who have given me the most enjoyable, fun career anyone could hope for and to the many officials and opponents I have come across. It has been terrific to play against you and more importantly get to know you."

The swashbuckling southpaw was under pressure after dropping some catches and below par performance with the bat during the ongoing home series against India.

In Sydney, he spilled a simple chance down the leg side to give Rahul Dravid a life, grassed an opportunity low to his right and allowed VVS Laxman to complete his century.

In Adelaide too, he dropped a sitter from VVS Laxman on the first day itself.

Gilly was his usual self in Melbourne and held onto couple of good catches on his way to surpass Healy's Australian record of 395 dismissals.

However his predecessor Ian Healy yesterday said Gilchrist, whose batting average in the past three years is 30.67 - well below his career average of 47.9, does have an extra workload as he opens the innings in ODIs and is expected to score heavily down the order in Tests but age can not be an excuse for the keeper who has played 96 consecutive Tests.

''He's set the benchmark, we all know what his standards are,'' Healy said while speaking to Star Cricket.

''We shouldn't be adjusting our standards to cope with a player that might be ageing," he said.

He's good enough to maintain and get back to those standards, no question - he can do it tomorrow maybe, he's done all right today - but he's got to do it quickly,'' he added.

Gilchrist made his international debut in 1996 when he played the first of his 277 one-day internationals. He made his Test debut in 1999 and has played 96 Tests, scoring 17 centuries.


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