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26 Jan 2008 11:49
Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist stunned the cricketing world on Saturday when he announced he was retiring from all forms of the game.
Gilchrist said he was quitting Test cricket after the current match against India ends at Adelaide Oval on Monday and one-day internationals at the end of the forthcoming triangular series against India and Sri Lanka.
“It is with great pride and happiness that I make the decision to retire from Test and one-day cricket,” Gilchrist said in a statement.
“I have come to this decision after much thought and discussion with those important to me.
“My family and I have been fortunate to have had an amazing journey full of rich experiences throughout my career and are sincerely grateful to all who have helped make this stage of our lives so fulfilling.”
Gilchrist’s shock announcement came just one day after he broke the world record for the most Test dismissals by a wicketkeeper and declared he had no plans of retiring.
He is the fifth senior Australian player to retire in the past 14 months, following Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn.
Cricket Australia Chairman Creagh O’Connor paid tribute to Gilchrist, describing him as one of the greatest players of all time.
“Adam has unquestionably been Australia’s finest ever wicketkeeper-batsman. He has been a great adornment to the game of cricket and his statistics with bat and gloves speak for themselves,” O’Connor said.
“His influence on the game has gone well beyond statistics both in terms of the dignity with which he has played the game and his respect for the traditions and the spirit of cricket.”
A dashing lefthander, Gilchrist is currently playing his 96th Test match.
He has scored 5 556 runs at an average of 47,89, with 17 hundreds and has a highest score of 204 not out.
He has also taken 414 Test dismissals and set a host of batting records, including the most sixes, and the second fastest century in Test history.
The 36-year-old from Western Australia has captained Australia both in Tests and one-day cricket and his record in the abbreviated form of the game is equally as imposing.
He has made 9 297 runs and taken 454 dismissals from 277 appearances and played in three consecutive World Cup winning teams.
“I am now ready and excited to move into the next phase of my life,” he said.
“Thank you to all my teammates and support staff who have given me the most enjoyable, fun career anyone could hope for and to the many officials and opponents I have come across.” - Reuters
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