I have never proclaimed myself a saint: Gilchrist

March 15th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) “There are no saints in Test cricket and I have never proclaimed to be one,” declared Adam Gilchrist Saturday in a clear retort to Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh. “An off-spinner from Punjab said that I am no saint. There are no saints in Test cricket and I have never proclaimed to be one,” said the suave Australian wicketkeeper, who announced his retirement at the end of the series against India.

“Test cricket is fought hard. There is a lot of passion and emotions involved. As long as the players do not cross the line, it is fine,” said Gilchrist, who earned the reputation of being a “walker” in his illustrious career.

Gilchrist was speaking at the conclave organized by India Today on Saturday.

Harbhajan took a swipe at Gilchrist’s reputation as ‘walker’ when he said that he (Gilchrist) “pretends to be a saint and there are times when he does not let slip an opportunity to shoot his mouth on the field.”

Australian on-field arrogance came under scathing attack from the cricketing world after the Sydney fiasco. The win-at-any-cost attitude of the world champions had few takers. It went to the extent that Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Indians players would have to learn sledging.

“Sledging has been around as long as the game is played. It will continue to be there. As long as it is a bit of a verbal joust, it is fine. The administrators will have to see that they do not regulate natural behaviour of the players,” added Gilchrist.

“Not everyone will be pleased by every action of others. There were occasions on the field during the series, which made it difficult for the players. The Sydney issue happened for a split second on the field and continued for two months off the field.”

Gilchrist denied that Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had instilled arrogance in the team.

He said: “I remember the third Ashes Test in 2006. We were just one wicket away from clinching the series in front of a packed home crowd. Ponting came up to the players and said ‘let’s not get carried away after the win. We all know what we went through after the Ashes defeat in 2005. We will have to be gracious in victory.’ That’s the direction a leader can show.”

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