Adam Gilchrist is known for his sense of fairness. Even at 41, he plays his cricket hard, loves destroying the opposition with his calculated assault and keeps wickets with amazing alacrity.
Long retired from international cricket, Gilchrist still has the reputation of being a ‘walker’, a tag that stuck after he turned to the dressing room even when adjudged ‘not out’ in the 2003 World Cup semifinals against Sri Lanka.
Captain and mentor of the Kings XI Punjab, Gilchrist surely knows a thing or two about integrity and decorum. It all came to the fore, on Thursday night, at the mention of the ‘spot-fixing’ involving three cricketers from Rajasthan Royals.
Minutes after KXIP’s much-needed seven-run victory over Delhi Daredevils here, Gilchrist did not mince words while speaking his mind on the subject.
“Like everyone, I am very short on detail. I have only followed it through the press. I must prefix this by saying if at all it is true, it is very, very sad. It’s very disappointing. It’s one of the most disrespectful things that anyone could do as a fellow cricketer. They are affording such disrespect to their peers by doing this. There is absolutely no excuse for this in this day and age. The talk of players being naive, or not understanding the ramifications, that’s rubbish.
“For my mind, any player found in any implications where they are proven to have handed illegal bookmakers bets or whatever, there is no place for them in the game whatsoever ever again. It’s so clean now, we are so knowledgeable on this, there’s no excuse. So if proven guilty, the harshest penalty from a cricketing point of view should be applied and that’s banned for life, I believe.”
When reminded that he was on strike during S. Sreesanth’s over in which the bowler was due to concede a minimum number of pre-determined runs for monetary considerations, Gilchrist said, “It’s just frightening – this is the closest that I ever know of, if it’s true, that I have ever come to it,” and quipped, “I hope they don’t take those four runs off my tally off that Sreesanth over because I have scratched around all year, I value every run I have got this season. But yes, it’s really sad. That’s what it is.”