Indian Premier League will miss Adam Gilchrist

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Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012, 13:38 [IST]
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Indian Premier League will miss Gilly

Bangalore, May 20: Another Australian cricketer has called it a day from the Indian Premier League. After Shane Warne last year, this time it is Adam Gilchrist.

If you look at Warne and Gilchrist's IPL careers, they are almost similar. They are the only two overseas captains to have led their respective teams to titles.

When IPL began in 2008, Warne turned the fortunes of a little known bunch of players at Rajasthan Royals towards the trophy.

After a dismal first year, Deccan Chargers charged their way back to the top from the bottom, like a phoenix. From wooden spoon in 2008, Gilchrist inspired Deccan to the trophy in 2009 in South Africa.

The first two years of IPL certainly belonged to two Australians, who played a lot of matches together for their country in Tests and ODIs.

On Saturday night, Gilchrist revealed that he might have played his last game of cricket. At 40, the wicketkeeper-batsman will walk away from the game and concentrate on family life.

In 2011, Gilchrist was signed by Kings XI Punjab to take their team forward. However, he did not enjoy the same success as he was expected to.

This year, Punjab were far better, always in contention for a play-off spot till the last game. But Delhi Daredevils put paid to their chances, mainly it was due to another Australian, David Warner who sent Punjab packing in Dharamsala.

The loss meant that Gilchrist did not enjoy a winning farewell. A veteran of 96 Tests, Gilchrist is always lauded for playing the game in the right spirit.

He displayed his respect for the game again two games back when he refused to take a run after Chennai Super Kings fielder Srikkanth Anirudha was wincing in pain after hurting his shoulder while trying to stop the ball near the boundary. Gilchrist could have easily taken advantage of the situation, but he did not. He received a lot of plaudits for this.

The left-hander is also known as a “walker”. When most of the batsman wait for umpires to give them out even when they know that he have nicked a ball to the wicketkeeper, Gilchrist just walks when he is sure that he has played the ball.

He famously walked in 2003 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka even when umpire was not sure whether Gilchrist had edged the ball to the wicketkeeper.

In IPL 5, Gilchrist could feature in only 7 games after injuring his hamstring. He scored 172 runs at an average of 34.40. He has one half century and a highest score of 64 not out.

IPL will remember Gilchrist for his fearless batting at the top of the order. In all, he played 67 matches, accumulating 1,775 runs with two centuries and 10 fifties. He is in the top-10 of batsmen with most runs in IPL history. He hit 86 sixes and 198 fours and got his runs at an impressive strike rate of 140.20.

Gilly as he is fondly known as, was also Punjab's coach and hinted that he might return as just a coach if the franchise wants him.

Deccan and Punjab will remember Gilchrist for give the teams a belief to win. Overall, IPL will certainly miss him.

Punjab fans will be hoping that he changes his mind for the next season. That would be great for the franchise. But if he has already made up his mind, he could be missing on the field but coach's role would be welcome.

After Gilchrist, one wonders who are the other veteran cricketers who have played their last IPL games this year. In a week's time, we will know the names of others who would have joined Gilchrist.


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