Controversy ridden Sydney Test forced Gilchrist to say quits

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Sydney, Nov 1 (UNI) Former wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has disclosed the reason for his sudden retirement. It was the controversy ridden Sydney Test against India early this year which forced him to quit the game.

Gilchrist, in his autobiography 'True colours' writes that the Sydney Test controversy was actually the last nail in the coffin.

''I certainly did not retire because my sportsmanship was questioned, and I didn't even decide to retire that week but on top of everything else that had gone on I feel the controversies around the Sydney Test were the straw that broke the camel's back,'' writes Gilchrist.

The former Vice-captain said he was thinking of quiting one-dayers since the World Cup but wanted to continue with Tests until the Sydney match and it had adverse effect on his peace of mind.

''They'd (sister's family) booked their tickets well in advance, thinking it might be my last Test, but I certainly hadn't made the decision. I was beginning to resolve finally on pulling out of one-day cricket, but I wasn't quitting Tests. I hadn't even asked (wife) Mel to come to Adelaide (the venue of the fourth and the final Test against India).

''... We lost the toss and fielded all day, the (Sachin) Tendulkar factory churning out another ton. My concentration wasn't good. Even in the first session I was asking myself:'Do I really want to just pull out of one-dayers? Should I keep doing both?'' Gilchrist also candidly admitted that his reflexes had slowed down.

''The ball was generally hitting me in the heels of my hands rather than palms. No one would have seen it from the outside, but my hands were continually a fraction of a second late.

This had been happening for a little while now, and it was playing on my mind,'' he added.

The performance behind wickets in the Sydney Test left Gilchrist's wondering and he began to think ''I was really a batsman who wore gloves, I wasn't a genuine 'keeper''.

About his sportsmanship, he said, ''when you are batting and you nick one, you know for sure you are out. The matter is in your hands. Most players pass that responsibility to the umpire. I had decided to take the responsibility for it myself.

''On walking, I felt isolated ... Silently accused to betraying the team. Implicitly, I was made to feel selfish, as if I was walking for the sake of my own clean image, thereby making everyone else look dishonest.

''My action in the 2003 World Cup semi-final had become such a big deal because it held up mirror to every player (but) that I walked wasn't a judgment on others,'' he writes.

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