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Gilchrist gives it to those who doubted him

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2011 00:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper Adam Gilchrist's over-the-top celebrations after completing his half-century against Deccan Chargers on Saturday looked a tad out of place, given the former Australian stumper's great deeds in the past.

When he hit a straight six off Amit Mishra to reach his 50, the aggressive demeanor in his celebration indicated he was looking to prove a point to someone.

That person turned out to be a decision maker in the Deccan Chargers management who felt the 39-year-old was past the sale by date and did not retain him for the fourth season of the Indian Premier League.

The KXIP skipper was in no mood to be politically correct when he came to the media briefing after taking his team to victory on a ground where he had failed to win a single match as the Chargers' captain.

"It has been brought to my attention that someone has been saying a few things about me. I am not going to elaborate who that was and what that was. It was disappointing to hear that. So today was particularly very sweet, with that in mind," he told reporters.

"I want to go on record saying I had three wonderful years with Chargers. But after the experience here, that now tastes sad somewhat in my mouth. And that one person knows who they are (sic)."

Though the Deccan Chargers spokesperson said the franchisee would not like to comment on the issue, sources maintained the jibe was aimed at the team's Director-Cricket Operations, Venkat Reddy.

Though neither Reddy nor any other member of the team management team had gone on record over why Gilchrist was not retained, sources said Reddy felt the former Aussie great had not performed well with the bat, appearing to question the value he brought to the team.

As pleasing as it gets Gilchrist led Chargers to triumph in 2009 and was Man of the Tournament.

In the last edition, the Australian brought the team back from the brink and led them to five straight victories, helping them reach the semifinals where they lost to eventual champions Chennai Super Kings.

Gilchrist said, "In the back half of IPL 3, I did not get the runs I would have liked to.

"There is a lot that goes into being a player in a team like this. You don't look at one facet of the game but the whole, big picture," he said,

"When we were under a siege a bit, we managed to get to the semifinals. I don't think we had one of the better lists of talent in the tournament. I contributed in captaining the side, wicket-keeping and also trying to keep the group together. That's as pleasing as anything."