Dropped Catch Convinced Gilchrist It Was Time To Retire
Dropping what should have been a simple catch off India's Vangipurappu Laxman was the moment Adam Gilchrist realised it was time to end his international career.
"It was somewhere between the ball hitting my gloves and the ball hitting the ground," he told a news conference after his final test appearance against India on Monday.
"I missed a few chances in this series and it was bugging me and I couldn't understand why. I was working hard, but it was just that moment, that catch - I watched a replay and I just moved really slow."
Shortly afterwards Gilchrist realised he had not being moving as well as he used to.
"I just realised then that I didn't have the absolute desperation that you need to continue to maintain your standards.
"The contributing factors to that are a new phase of life, new family members cropping up every few years...and just generally having a lot more on my mind."
Gilchrist spoke to his wife that same night and announced his retirement the following day. He said he felt a sense of relief when he made up his mind and was looking forward to spending more time with his children.
However, his playing days are not over.
The 36-year-old lefthander will play in the upcoming one-day international series with India and Sri Lanka and has signed a lucrative deal to play Twenty20 in the Indian Premier League.
"I've been a bit of a reluctant starter with 20/20," he said.
"I was a bit of a traditionalist and wasn't so sure about this short version of the game but over time and having played more of it and just seeing the way it works I've realised it's an important part of the cricket structure now."
Gilchrist recognised he would be remembered more for his batting than his wicketkeeping, even though he broke the world record for test dismissals in his final appearance.
"I've always felt like I had to defend my wicketkeeping a little bit and maybe that's because I wasn't technically perfect or as graceful as the amazing wicketkeepers we've had prior to me," he said.
Gilchrist said his proudest moments were captaining Australia to their breakthrough series win in India in 2004 and scoring 149 in last year's World Cup final in Barbados.
"To captain that team for the bulk of the series (against India) and be part of the leadership group that constructed that group was the highest point and greatest achievement of my career personally," he said.
"And to have played that knock in the World Cup final, on the biggest stage possible at the right time, very rare everything goes to plan all at once. That was really pleasing."
© Reuters 2008
For a look back at a young Gilchrist in action for Richmond CC, click here