Cool run­ning

Adam Gilchrist talks the highs and lows of Big Bash cricket

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - 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 dash­ing 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-five 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 five 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 find 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.”

T20 BIG BASH

THURS­DAY ADE­LAIDE STRIK­ERS v MEL­BOURNE STARS, 7.30PM, TEN; FRI­DAY SYD­NEY SIX­ERS v MEL­BOURNE RENE­GADES, 7.30PM, TEN; SATUR­DAY, MEL­BOURNE STARS v HO­BART HUR­RI­CANES, 7PM TEN

King of cool:

Sir Viv Richards ED­I­TOR Deb­bie Schipp REVIEWS Deb­bie Schipp, Colin Vick­ery, An­drew Fen­ton, Holly Byrnes, Neala John­son, Leigh Paatsch, Shan­non Mol­loy, Claire Suther­land COVER Adam Gilchrist. Sup­plied by Chan­nel Ten COVER DE­SIGN Trevor Timms

AD­VER­TIS­ING Paul Car­roll (02) 8114 7452 PRO­DUC­TION Page­mas­ters Pub­lished by Han­nan­print, 55 Doody St, Alexan­dria, NSW 2015, for News Corp Aus­tralia. PRO­GRAM IN­FOR­MA­TION: Is cor­rect at the time of print­ing, but may be sub­ject to late change by in­di­vid­ual tele­vi­sion net­works amending their sched­ules.

The Gilchrist fam­ily’s #putouty­our­bats trib­ute.

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