Former Australian all-rounder Gary Gilmour has passed away at the age of 62.
Gilmour played 15 Tests in the Baggy Green, but will perhaps best be remembered for his starring role in the 1975 World Cup semi-final against England, in which the left-arm swing bowler took 6-14 at Headingley.
Widely hailed as the best bowling effort in ODI history, Gilmour went down as a legend as he tore through England’s batting order.
In fact, he became something of a nemesis for England, taking 6-85 and 3-72 in an Ashes Test, but unfortunately, that would prove to be one of his last performances for Australia.
That was just his third ODI for the Aussies, but his figures remained a record for the country until Glenn McGrath took 7-15 in 2003. He also proved himself capable with the bat, too, as he brought his side back from the brink with 28 from 28 balls that included five boundaries.
In Test cricket, he took 54 wickets, and also smashed a memorable 101 runs against neighbours New Zealand, 86 of which came from fours and sixes.
Gilmour had been suffering from health problems for a number of years, undergoing a liver transplant nine years ago. He died in Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Tuesday, where he had been staying for a hip operation.
His legacy is certainly remarkable considering the few times he actually played for Australia. After his famous performance against England, he only featured in another two ODIs, but his achievements in his short international career mean he will be remembered for some years to come. Starting and finishing his career with New South Wales, he played for eight years in total, scoring a century on his debut.
Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive James Sutherland has led the tributes, praising Gilmour for his “rare ability to single-handedly turn a game”. Australia head coach Darren Lehmann also joined Sutherland in offering his condolences to Gilmour’s family; he leaves behind his wife Helen, two sons and a daughter.
A household name in Australian cricket, Gilmour’s popularity was highlighted by his liver operation, which ex-team mates helped raise the money for. Fellow Aussie great Greg Chappell even hailed him as having as much talent as the great Garry Sobers.
Gilmour had bemoaned the current state of the game, insisting he would not have wished to be a cricketer in the modern day due to the excessive travelling and training. “It’s not a sport anymore, it’s like going to work”, he once put it. “I’d clock in for a sickie”.
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