'Ignore the criticism, appreciate the innings' May 9, 2007

Buchanan backs Gilchrist's tactics

Cricinfo staff

John Buchanan wants the public to remember Adam Gilchrist's 149 in the World Cup final for how good it was, not for the squash ball in his glove © Getty Images

John Buchanan believes Adam Gilchrist's use of a squash ball in his batting glove during the World Cup final is "a non-issue" and wants suggestions the move was unethical to be dealt with harshly. The MCC, who are the guardians of the Laws, said the squash ball was legal, a sentiment echoed by Buchanan.

"If you want to go down this road, where do you draw the line?" Buchanan told The Age. "Should it be illegal for players to receive strapping to injuries, or for batsmen to use extra grips on their bats?

"There is an argument that there is some benefit there. I hope that over time, people will ignore something like this and remember the innings for how good it was."

Gilchrist revealed his secret weapon after belting 149 in the final against Sri Lanka, which led Sri Lanka Cricket's secretary, Kangadaran Mathivanan, to call the move "unethical" and consider taking the matter up at the ICC annual general meeting in June. Buchanan said such comments undermined one of the most memorable innings in World Cup history.

"Everybody will be disappointed about this," Buchanan said. "The final should be a celebration of cricket and Adam's innings was outstanding. Comments like these should be ignored by the public, and be dealt with harshly as quickly as possible."

Ian Healy, Gilchrist's wicketkeeping predecessor, said he "had a giggle" about the furore. "Let them all put squash balls in their glove and see how they go," Healy said in The Courier Mail. "Maybe a tennis ball is better, they could try that. All protective equipment and strappings which sportsmen wear are performance-enhancing. I'm not too sure a squash ball would enhance the performance of too many people."