A fan once asked me to autograph their dog: Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist on growing up in New South Wales, the cricket match he’ll always remember, and the superpower he would want .
Birthday: November 14
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Hometown: Lismore, New South Wales
School: Kadina High School/ University of Wollongong
First Break: Playing in the under-17s in a national carnival, in January 1988
High point of your life: My four children... I still sit and wonder how that all happened. But it’s amazing to have a family
Low point of your life: 2005, when we lost the Ashes. I was really struggling personally and was gripped with self-doubt
Currently I am: Involved in a forestry business in Australia, doing some commentary for Channel 10 and coaching my son’s under-15 team
Growing up with three siblings must have been a lot of fun. As the youngest, were you also the brattiest?
You can get away with a lot more, as you have them to pioneer the way. But you also get a lot of hand-me-down clothes and toys, so maybe it’s not so good.
What are your fondest memories from New South Wales, where you were born?
I grew up in the regional areas, so getting down to the beach in the summer was fun. We were not too far from Byron Bay, a well-known beach destination.
Your wife and you were high school sweethearts. How did you woo her?
We had a little fling in year 8, when we were about 14. And then we separated ways and got back together in year 11. I don’t know whether I wooed her or not, but she was happy to stick around (laughs) and it’s been great to be together on the whole journey through cricket, and now, children.
A cricket match you’ll always remember.
Eden Gardens, 2011. We lost what we thought was an unlosable Test on the back of brilliance from VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh.
The best advice you ever got from someone.
From Steve Waugh — Don’t get too carried away when things are going well, don’t get too down when things aren’t going so well.
A parenting lesson that you hated as a kid but now also use with your own.
Eat your vegetables. Fortunately, my kids are exposed to a greater variety of food at their age than what I was at that age.
You’ve travelled to India quite often. What do you like best about the country?
Its diversity. I’m not disrespectful when I say it can be crazy and intimidating to see the volume of people, but it’s a real life experience to see it operate.
Is there a particular place you’d like to explore?
Rajasthan. I’ve been to Jaipur but haven’t really had time to look around the other places. I’m led to believe it’s beautiful. I also love Dharamsala and recommend it to people back home.
Best memories from playing for the IPL.
I love the multi-cultural mix of players. It was great fun to lead a team like that. It’s Bollywood meets sport, so it’s party time too and a different atmosphere compared to international fixtures.
What’s a regular day in Adam Gilchrist’s life like?
Wake up at 5.30 am, usually because a four-year-old comes and jumps on us. Get the kids’ lunches ready, get them processed and off to school. That’s a military operation. Try to fit in some exercise, whether it’s gym, a bit of boxing, running or riding. Then spend time in the office or if at home, pick up the kids from school and drive them around to their sporting and social activities. Then wind down with a nice meal and a glass of wine with Mel in the evening.
What has been the best part of growing up and living in Australia?
It has a wonderful climate which lends itself to being outdoors. Whether it’s the beach, parklands, mountains, or skiing, it’s a lot of open spaces that I really enjoy.
Do you cook? What’s a favourite in the Gilchrist household?
Yeah, but not as much as my wife, Melinda, who’s a splendid cook. Anything I produce is nowhere near as high-quality or tasty as what she does. Favourite dishes are chilli con carne, and definitely, butter chicken.
Apart from Gilly and Church, do you have any other nicknames that people don’t know of?
When the opposition were getting a bit abusive, they would call me ‘wingnut’ because of my very generous ears.
A superpower you’ve always wished for.
X-ray vision would be pretty cool.
A perfect date would include…
Some exercise before, because then you can drink and eat whatever you want. A nice pre-dinner drink like champagne, my favourite food (Indian or Thai) at a beautiful restaurant with my wife and dessert, definitely. I don’t get people who go out to dinner and don’t have dessert.
A wicketkeeper you would pay to watch today.
Jack Russell from England. He was fantastic through the ’80s and ’90s.
Favourite way to spend time with your family.
At the beach. We’re very lucky to have a little holiday house in the Margaret River region in the southwest so we try to get down there as much as we can.
A fan encounter you remember vividly.
Being asked by a fan in Melbourne to autograph their dog. They lifted up their dog and asked me to sign its side with a big black pen. I don’t think it was cruelty, the dog seemed to be panting and happy.
Holiday destination : I’m biased, but western Australia
Music: U2. Love them.
Cricketer: At the moment, it’s Virat Kohli
Movie: Good Will Hunting (1997)
From HT Brunch, August 28, 2016
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