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No successor yet for singer Gilchrist

The question now is who will be the one once Gilchrist calls it quits after the ongoing tri-series, and there is no answer yet, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Feb 09, 2008 03:04 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

Everyone knows Australia will miss Adam Gilchrist, the wicketkeeper-batsman extraordinaire. They are looking for a replacement and it's more or less certain that Brad Haddin is the one they have homed in on. Few know that even after the New South Wales man takes over, there will still be one spot to fill in.

The Australian team sings a song after every Test win and ODI series triumph. The lead singer is different in each version. While Michael Hussey does the duty in Tests, it's Gilchrist who takes over when it comes to celebrating one-day wonders. <b1>

The question now is who will be the one once Gilchrist calls it quits after the ongoing tri-series, and there is no answer yet.

It has been reliably learnt that a decision is still to be taken or even if it has been, it hasn't been announced. "Not to my knowledge at least," said a source. It was further learnt that team manager Steve Bernard in all probability will take a call on this.

Here goes the song: <b2>

Beneath the Southern Cross they stand/A sprig of whottle in my hand/A native of my native land/Australia you fxxxxxg beauty. It's not clear when exactly singing this one became a practice but sources indicated that probably from the time of Rodney Marsh it has been in vogue. Convention has it that the captain doesn't sing it and when the one with this responsibility gets the top job, he nominates his successor.

So when Ricky Ponting became captain, he left this job for Justin Langer, who before retiring chose Hussey. It couldn't be confirmed who opted for Gilchrist because he has been around for so long, but it was learnt that when Australia won the DLF Cup in Malaysia in 2006 with the wicketkeeper not playing, Andrew Symonds was entrusted with the responsibility following Gilchrist's wishes.

That way, the burly allrounder who as a child had won an award for recitation from Alliance Francaise, looks likely to take over irrespective of everything else. Brutal hitter of the cricket ball and a fearsome opponent, Symonds is likely to take this responsibility seriously too.