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Gilchrist reveals why he quit cricket
January 28, 2008 16:04 IST
The much-criticised dropped catch of VVS Laxman in the fourth and final Test at Adelaide was the moment which compelled Australian legend Adam Gilchrist [Images] to decide that it was time to leave the stage.
"When I dropped that Laxman edge off Lee, I realised that I hadn't moved as well, I was slow and after 10-15 minutes and I realised, that's it," said Gilchrist in his first press conference since announcing retirement on the third day of the Adelaide Test.
"The missed catches of the series were bugging me. I was working hard, and training well but there was absolutely no desperation for me to continue to maintain those standards. That night I spoke to Mel [his wife] and decided that's it."
"It was my greatest moment. When Ponting hurt his thumb in Edgbaston in the  Champions Trophy and went off the field, I realised I could be the captain on that tour.
"There was an amazing build up to it, I had self-doubts and considered not taking up the job... I personally consider it definitely the highest point of my career," he said.
The swashbuckling cricketer agreed that his reputation was largely earned as a batsman and even though he was good as a wicketkeeper, that wasn't his calling card.
"That's fine, I don't grumble on it. I've always had to defend my wicketkeeping a bit, may be I was [not] technically as perfect or graceful as a few amazing wicketkeepers were prior to me. Still I thought I was effective and value added in that department," he said.
Gilchrist said the immediate memory he carries is the "camaraderie, passion and pride" playing for the Australian team.
"It's a legacy which has passed generation after generation, it's the strength in Australian cricket.
"I can see it happening in other countries. Not that they didn't have the pride before but the way India played in this series and England [Images] in 2005, conveys it happening elsewhere also," he added.
The affable cricketer has no doubt that his passion for the forthcoming one-day triangular series would not be dimmed by his retirement.
"I really am looking forward to it. One-day cricket gave me an opportunity to make a mark in Test cricket.
"It's the last part of my ODI career and I am excited about it. I knew how Glenn McGrath was excited about going to the Caribbean in his last series. He was very relaxed and finished player of the tournament. I am not predicting so but I really look forward to it."
Gilchrist believes that Australia would have a replacement ready to fill his shoes and he also made a passing mention of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he is contracted to play a part.
"Brad Haddin has shown that he is ready, he has already made an impression in international cricket. Below him [other wicketkeepers] are also showing encouraging signs.
"As for IPL, I see it as an amazing entertainment package. Initially, being a traditionalist, I wasn't too excited by Twenty20 cricket but just seeing how it works, I believe it's an important part of cricket structure."