Adam Gilchrist has been given a special 36th birthday present, being voted by his peers as Australia's greatest one-day international player of all time. Every player who has represented Australia in ODIs was eligible to take part in the poll and Gilchrist earned 38% of the votes, ahead of Ricky Ponting on 19% and Steve Waugh on 14%.
The results were announced in Hobart ahead as Gilchrist celebrated his birthday while preparing for the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka. The survey was a follow-up to the announcement of Australia's greatest ODI team in February.
Gilchrist has played in Australia's three consecutive World Cup final victories since 1999 - Ponting and Glenn McGrath are the only other men to do so. In the most recent of those triumphs Gilchrist was the Man of the Match in the final, belting Sri Lanka all around the Kensington Oval in Barbados and making 149 from 104 balls. He had a part to play in both the other World Cup deciders, scoring half-centuries in 1999 and 2003.
He sits second to Ponting on Australia's list of all-time ODI run scorers with 9222 at 36.02, his strike-rate of 96.61 is the best among Australia batsmen, and his 451 dismissals places him comfortably at the top of Australia's list of ODI wicketkeepers. Gilchrist is also Australia's third most-capped player behind Steve Waugh and Ponting, and has captained Australia in 17 ODIs.
"To be given this enormous honour by my peers is unbelievably humbling and ranks highly amongst the accolades l have received over my career," Gilchrist said. "I have been very fortunate to have played in such a successful era and with such a great group of players. I feel very fortunate to be acknowledged in this way."
Gilchrist looks set to add to those totals in the next few months, although he has hinted that he might consider giving up one-day cricket to prolong his Test career. After Gilchrist, Ponting and Waugh in the individual poll came Shane Warne with 9% of the votes, Michael Bevan (7%), Dean Jones (5%) and Allan Border, who rated 4% despite not being included in the greatest ODI side.