Australia v India 2007-08 / News

Adam Gilchrist's retirement

'Possibly his loss is more than even Warne or McGrath'

Cricinfo staff

January 26, 2008

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Tributes come in for Adam Gilchrist, who announced his retirement at the end of day three of the Adelaide Test.


Mike Young: "I've been working for 30 years in the professional sports industry and Adam Gilchrist ranks in my top two or three" © Getty Images
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John Buchanan, former Australia coach
He called me at the end of the third day's play to tell him about his decision. He didn't need to do that but I certainly appreciated his gesture. The decision did surprise me but it was his personal one. He was a close friend and I admired him as a person, as a cricketer and as a father.

His contribution to Australian and world cricket was incredible. He set benchmarks for wicketkeeper-batsmen and in general to cricketers. He could change games with a drop of hat in any form of the game. His character as a person, his contribution to the captain and the team culture even exceeded his contributions on the field. Possibly his loss is more than even Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. What delighted me about Adam Gilchrist was his sense of balance as a player in sport played at the highest level.

Mark Boucher, South Africa wicketkeeper and former world record holder
The night before I had sent him a text message after he went past me on the list, saying, 'congratulations on an incredible career, long may it continue'," he told the Sun-Herald. "I really thought he could go on for another three or four years. There have probably been better wicketkeepers in the game, but he revolutionised the game in terms of being a wicketkeeper-batsman. Gilly is streets ahead of the rest in that regard.

He is the guy who set the tone for everyone else in the game, and he has changed it forever. Before he came into the game, it was okay for a keeper to be averageing between 20 and 25 if he was doing a good job with the gloves. But Gilly came in and set new standards for all of us to follow. Everyone would like to be like Adam Gilchrist, and turn games around by smashing the ball to all parts of the ground.

Matthew Hayden, Australia team-mate
It's massive news and it's surprising news. From my point of view I feel incredibly privileged to have played with Adam for as long as I have. He's been a remarkable Australian, he's held the baggy green in his hand with great pride and passion, great discipline, great work ethic.

[He has been] a fantastic leader and had an ability to be able to change the game and that has made Adam one of the greatest players who has ever played the game. He'll be deeply, deeply missed ... greatness is what we've aspired to be in the Australian cricket team, and he's fulfilled everything that has been asked of him by all of his captains and as captain himself throughout that wonderful series in India [in 2004], where we won the series 2-1.

He has played with remarkable skill, he has entertained and done so in a statesmanlike way, bonding cricketers throughout the world and changing them with how he has played the game.

Mike Young, Australia fielding coach
I've been working for 30 years in the professional sports industry and Adam Gilchrist ranks in my top two or three. He was the ultimate and confident professional I came across. Most importantly he was a better person than he was a cricketer. And a fine, and fresh, example of that was witnessed during the Boxing Day Test against India when he pitched forward to raise money for the Glenn McGrath Breast Cancer Foundation. Individually he informed each man in the team and when he informed me obviously there was this feeling of loss, but I just told him if he knows what he's doing and if he has had a chat with his family and close ones then it doesn't matter.

Michael Clarke, Australia team-mate
It's a huge loss and you'll never be able to replace Adam Gilchrist. The respect that the public showed Gilly, with the standing ovation, that just shows around the world how much he is loved and what he's done for the game. Every player in our team, and everyone around the world, knows just how good he is.

Jason Gillespie, former Australia team-mate
Whether he was playing a Test or a one-day series he just loved being around the lads in the dressing room, having a laugh. He was always wearing his baggy green and his whites and he was always the last one to get changed out of them. Hopefully he can have one more moment this Test.

Rod Marsh, former Australia keeper
Champions, great players or whatever you want to call them, don't come along too often. Gilly was one of them and may well be remembered as the best ever keeper-batsman. I've never seen a man with his job description shape the course of so many games. Whoever replaces him will have enormous shoes to fill.

Sourav Ganguly, former India captain
We're all very surprised by the decision and what prompted him to retire at this point. But I guess he will know best. I think he must be the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman ever. A very, very dangerous player to be up against. He leaves a big void. I remember the innings he played against us in Mumbai in 2001. He changed the match in no time. And of course the hundred in the World Cup final last year. He was a big-match player and knew how to make an impact. He's a great person too. We got along really well.

Darren Lehmann, former Australia team-mate
We're going to miss an entertainer. Certainly for me, as a past player, I come to the cricket to watch Adam Gilchrist. He's been toing and froing for a while now, it's hard to make the decision to retire but once he's made it the pressure's off and he can enjoy himself. He always put the team first and that's been exceptional, while having played against him at state level we were always glad to see the back of him.

Shaun Pollock, South Africa player
He was a fantastic player and a great opponent. People used to say Australia didn't have enough allrounders, but he kept wicket fantastically well and he averaged 50 batting at number seven. You couldn't ask for a better allrounder than that. You didn't feel comfortable until you got him out.

Paul Collingwood, England player
He's amazing. From the start of his career played with freedom, expressed himself and had no fear of failure. What many people didn't see was that he was a great bloke - he'll be missed in cricket. His keeping was world class as well and he set the benchmark. It's been difficult for other sides to find a similar Gilchrist-type player.

Kim Hughes, former Australia captain
People will talk about him the way they talked about Bradman and compare players to him by saying 'he's not as good as Bradman' and like Warne by saying 'he's not as good as Warne'. He was one of those players who could turn a game in an hour, and the batters above him could attack with confidence knowing Gilly was still to come in. He's the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman the game has even seen. He changed the game.


© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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