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A gander with Gilly

RITAM MITRA chats retirement, diplomacy and the future of cricket with Adam Gilchrist, the face of Fox Cricket and the man who revolutionised the role of the modern wicket-keeper

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Ritam Mitra: Gilly, this year marks 15 years since you retired from Test cricket. Pretty scary for me because I grew up watching you – I’m sure it’s scary for you as well. Has time gone quicker or slower now that life is a bit more mundane, now that you’re not playing test cricket? Do you still get excited about the cricket season the same way you did back then?

Adam Gilchrist: Yes, I love it. It’s the anticipation of the unknown of what’s going to unfold. Particularly World Cups – they always throw an upset here and there, a new team that’s less favoured and knocks over one of the top teams to create a bit of chaos… but yes, I still love it. I don’t long to play anymore, I don’t miss playing. I loved playing but I also love being around here.

Ritam Mitra: A quick word on The Ashes. Many comparisons have been made between the series that we just had and the one in 2005. Tell me, how do you view those comparisons, having played in that series and having looked on helplessly, like the rest of us, last summer?

Adam Gilchrist: It was compelling, beautiful…just the fact that you didn’t know what’s going to happen each day. So, the unpredictability made it really interesting and entertaining. I can see why there are comparisons with the 2005 series, but you know, just the fact that so many people are talking about the game, is the positive outcome of it.

Adam Gilchrist in Conversation with Ritam Mitra

Ritam Mitra: And this year you were appointed to the Board of Centre for Australia-India Relations (CAIR). I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the importance of the relationship between the two countries, given what India has achieved over the years, but also now on the global stage with being in a role like that?

Adam Gilchrist: Look, India is my favourite place to travel and has been for a long time. It has a very special place in my heart. Obviously from beyond the pitch, I learned so much more than the cricketing life experience, and I love sharing that with people, particularly from Australia. I’m now encouraging them to embrace it, learn about it, go and visit India, and vice versa, get people to come down to Australia and help that cross-over over vastly different sub-points. There’s similarities, there are common themes with the two areas and what we value, what we export across each nation. There’s so much to learn from each other, so that’s why I am more than happy to be part of the organisation to help foster that relationship and make it even more strengthened.

Ritam Mitra: The last couple of years, it’s pretty clear that the ICC and test cricket have taken a collision course with private funded T-20 leagues. We’ve seen the squad that South Africa has named for the New Zealand tour, it’s not a great squad – I know you’re not an administrator but if you had it your way, how would you avoid putting players in that difficult position to choose?

Adam Gilchrist: It’s a bit outside their hands for the ICC; it’s out of their jurisdiction so it’s a real challenging one. I don’t know! It’s about trying to avoid the clash with their opponents. I don’t know why New Zealand weren’t able to change their dates in having South Africa over for the Tests, they probably had their reasoning. I don’t have a ready-made answer.

Ritam Mitra: I’m sure you’re in a lot of group chats with former teammates and opponents. Who is the biggest pest, and who is the life of the chat?

Adam Gilchrist: (Glenn) McGrath was always the biggest pest.

Ritam Mitra: And now it’s carried onto the group chat.

Adam Gilchrist: Yeah. Jason Gillespie also always provides life in the group chat.

Ritam Mitra: Awesome, thanks Gilly I really appreciate it.

Adam Gilchrist: Thanks.

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Ritam Mitra
Ritam Mitra
Ritam is an award-winning journalist and lawyer based in Sydney. Ritam writes on domestic and global politics, human rights and social justice, and sport.

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