The Meeting That Changed Gilly’s Life




Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist

When Australia won their first series on Indian soil after 35 years in 2004, Adam Gilchrist the then acting captain was greatly inspired by words of a quadriplegic patient whom Gilchrist had met in Sydney.

Perry Cross, who was paralyzed in 1994 at the age of 19 due to a tackle while playing Rugby, was the motivational speaker who helped Gilly face the odds and is also quite renown all over the world.

Gilchrist, who first met Perry in Sydney, visited the patient in Delhi who is at the moment undergoing a stem cell treatment. Gilly quotes his first meeting with Cross as follows, “I still remember a night in July in Sydney when Coach John Buchanan invited Perry for a motivational talk after a team dinner during our 2004 series with Sri Lanka.”

He also says that Perry’s words touched him when the latter spoke about his life and was motivated by the bravery with which the man from Brisbane spoke.

“Perry was kind enough to share his brave story with the Australian cricket team. I was touched by his words ‘knowledge is faith’ and since then we have developed a strong bond.”

Gilly feels that, “Perry’s key principles of knowledge, courage and faith have not only helped him through his daily challenges but also touched the lives of those whom he has addressed. He is truly inspirational.”

Thus during the 2004 series against India , Gilchrist would write the motivating words ‘knowledge is faith’ on a piece of paper and stick it in the dressing for all the team members to get inspired. He adds, “In 2001 we had a near-miss and we used the knowledge of that loss to win the series on Indian soil three years later.”

Gilchrist says that with Ponting’s injury in Edgbaston in the Champions Trophy he was quite certain that in India’s tour, he would have to take the responsibility of leading the side at some point of time. Though nervous, the wicket-keeper batsman remembered Cross’ words and was determined to win the series, which was termed as the final frontier for the Australian team.

He concludes by saying, “To captain that team for the bulk of the series and be part of the leadership group was the highest point and greatest achievement of my career personally.”

Cross, who happens to be a Gilchrist fan himself, wished Gilchrist’s team good luck and also acknowledged the fact that the experience gained by young Indian players playing alongside the Australian is priceless.

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Author:

Hello everyone. I'm a student of Heritage Institute of Technology. Although I'm not very athletic, like every other Indian I've always loved to play cricket. In fact at a given point of time I had serious thoughts of becoming a cricketer. Never mind my namesake is doing great guns at the highest level and I think I'm pretty satisfied with writing articles on the very game which has happened to be my passion right from childhood . I would share whatever little I know about the fascinating game and try and provide facts as well as a cohesive analysis of the latest from the game. Thanks for the opportunity!

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