Adam Gilchrist has finally retired from International Cricket. It's been a sad sort of announcement around my family, for the simple reason that my brother has spent the last few years idolizing him. There's a good reason for it, since Gilchrist more or less completed the job that Alec Stewart and Ian Healy started, making batting ability half the job of the modern wicket keeper, rather than just a sideline. On the other hand, perhaps the retirement will be good for me, since it might mean that I lose slightly fewer cricket balls in the fields surrounding my house as my brother does his best to emulate his hero.
These thoughts of cricket are mostly down to half an hour spent with Don Bradman's book The Art of Cricket yesterday. It's a very different sort of coaching manual to the modern sort. Biomechanics aren't mentioned once, and he's willing to admit that different people might do things in completely different ways. When's the last time that showed up in a coaching manual? And, of course, this one has the advantage of being written by someone who is statistically half again as good with the bat as anyone else who's played the game. Maybe his Test average of very nearly a hundred will inspire me to get my average in village cricket up into double figures this year. Then again, probably not.