Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now



Yet for a lot of it’s the paltry 22 he produced towards Sri Lanka in March 2003 that stays by far the most instructive: within the Globe Cup semi-final at Port Elizabeth in South Africa, and using the activity delicately poised, Gilchrist surrendered his wicket. The umpire hadn’t detected a thin edge caught by the wicketkeeper, but rather than count his blessings and continue his trademark assault, Gilchrist ruled himself gucci outlet out. In cricket parlance, he “walked”.

In an era when winning is not just an obsession but a commercial imperative, Gilchrist is fair to a fault. He won’t sacrifice his principles to attain success. He understands that he is a guardian of cricket’s reputation. He accepts that he is a role model. And he also embraces the responsibility that comes with fame. “Sport and the profile you get from sport is a powerful tool,” Gilchrist says. “You just hope that you use it the right way.”

Australia captain Ricky Ponting admits with a rueful laugh that he was shocked when Gilchrist’s principles surfaced inside the midst of that crucial Planet Cup match. But whilst he is not a “walker” himself, Ponting believes his prized wicketkeeper should be acclaimed for acting on his conscience – and for speaking his mind on other contentious issues, such as the excessive number of one-day games.

“He needs to be applauded,” Ponting says. “As a senior player in globe cricket it’s important that you air your views about the way issues while in the sport should be handled.”

Gilchrist’s rare spirit is echoed off the field, too. A father of three who first dated his wife Mel even Louis Vuitton Borse Italia Online e vendita sconto emoda Louis Vuitton Borse. Economico Borse Louis Vuitton Italia outlet per uomo e donna though they were at high school in Goonellabah, near Lismore in northern NSW, he is definitely the antithesis on the brash, nightclub-prowling sporting millionaire. For quite a louis vuitton borse few years he stayed in touch with a Hobart teenager dying of bone cancer; after scoring a century in India in 2004, he returned to the pavilion and sent the boy, Mark Wornum, a text message: “Mark, that a single was for you. Gilly.” And on the eve of that memorable Test last year in his home Gucci Outlet Online Store Offering Original Gucci Quality town of Perth, he could be found inside the practice nets playing with a terminally ill nine-year-old.

But it’s his astonishing performances, not his devotion to family and charity, that win him the headlines. Ponting calls him “essentially the most destructive batsman ever” and says “he has revolutionised the way wicketkeepers play”. Who can argue? The cricketer universally known as Gilly has more dismissals in international cricket than any keeper ever – and more centuries, too. His average scoring rate is also the fastest in Test history.

Even at 35 he plays together with the freedom of a boy within the backyard. His philosophy is simple: “Watch the ball; then hit it.” He hits it hard and considerably and often. While in the Perth Ashes match last year, he followed a duck during the first innings with a 57-ball 100 while in the second, 1 delivery shy with the quickest ever Test century. In a single over from Monty Panesar he plundered 24 runs, including three sixes in four balls. Then England captain Andrew Flintoff looked like he was witnessing a shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral as the last on the batch disappeared into a frenzied grandstand.

As he enters the twilight of his career, Gilchrist says it means a huge amount to him that people get so much pleasure from his feats. He tries to stop and “really listen” when excited fans approach. After all, as a self-confessed sports tragic, he appreciates the joy sport can deliver in moments like the Socceroos qualifying for the entire world Cup, or Kieren Perkins winning Olympic gold in 1996.

“I am like anyone else. I feel the adrenalin rush, the tears welling up, the desire to jump and scream and shout when we witness such unscripted moments of raw emotion,” he says. “So if people tell me that when I was performing they felt like I do when I watch a gucci outlet online unique sporting moment, then that’s one of the most wonderful compliment I could ever hope for.”

He draws his inspiration from his wife, Mel, and children, his paraplegic friend Perry Cross, and his teammates. “True inspiration comes from being in a team,” he says. “After the commitment to one particular another comes the highs of victory or the lows of defeat. It’s all yours to share with each other. That’s true inspiration for me.”

Drew Warne-Smith