Cool run­ning

Adam Gilchrist talks the highs and lows of Big Bash cricket

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

AS A kid, Adam Gilchrist knew for sure he was go­ing to be a cricket star.

Long be­fore he would grow up to pull on a Baggy Green – and earn the tag of the great­est wick­et­keeper- bats­man in the his­tory of the game – lit­tle Gilly would dash off au­to­graphs for his school­mates, brag­ging he would make it big in the sport.

It’s a sur­pris­ingly cocky anec­dote from the man known for his good sports­man­ship, fa­mously walk­ing from the crease when he thought he was out, re­gard­less of the um­pire’s decision.

Boy­hood brash­ness was never part of his nat­u­ral game – whether dur­ing his 16- year first­class crick­et­ing ca­reer or in re­tire­ment, when he pub­lished his me­moirs be­fore tak­ing up a mi­cro­phone for Chan­nel 10’ s Big Bash cov­er­age last year.

When you hear about his one at­tempt at swag­ger, with co- com­men­ta­tor Sir Vi­vian Richards, you un­der­stand why.

“Sir Viv is the king of cool. I got a bit reck­less and tried to high- fi ve him on screen, missed and got my mi­cro­phone all caught up. I sort of hit him in the shoul­der and as a ca­reer move, that wasn’t one of my bet­ter ones. Of course, the team re­played it about 10 times, so this sum­mer I’ll leave the cool to Viv and just stick to my job de­scrip­tion, which is to talk about the game and do a bit of pre­sent­ing.”

It’s this self- dep­re­ca­tion and ca­ma­raderie be­tween Ten’s T20 com­men­tary team which brought the spirit of this fast- paced form of the game into lounge­rooms around the coun­try.

While diehards com­plain it is the pop song to Test matches’ clas­si­cal showcase of cricket, Gilchrist hap­pily sings the praises of Big Bash.

“What I love about the Big Bash is they’ve formed some real club ri­val­ries, even within a city so you’ve got lo­cal der­bies now. Ev­ery sin­gle match has points rid­ing on it, there are in­cen­tives for the play­ers and the sup­port­ers, so it keeps it live and real and not just go­ing through the mo­tions.”

At a time when TV view­ers have in­creas­ingly limited at­ten­tion spans, Big Bash is per­fect snack- size pro­gram­ming, Gilchrist says.

“To in­vite new peo­ple to watch the game, sit them down for fi ve days and then you might not get a re­sult ( as with Test matches), it’s a pretty hard thing to do. But if you say, ‘ Watch T20 for a cou­ple of hours, you should fi nd it en­ter­tain­ing’ it’s a lit­tle more ac­ces­si­ble.”

Re­unit­ing with old cricket bud­dies, in­clud­ing for­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Ricky Ponting, bats­man Mark Waugh and pace­man Damian Flem­ing, to launch the cov­er­age for Ten last year proved “a new fron­tier for all of us”, Gilchrist says.

“It was like a bunch of good mates catch­ing up ev­ery night to talk about cricket. When that wasn’t the thing to talk about, we’d usu­ally just take the mickey out of each other and that worked pretty well.”



Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.