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Gilly felt his hundred was well overdue

By Tom Wald & Katelyn John 03/05/2007 10:24:35 PM Comments (0)

A modest Adam Gilchrist felt he tested the patience of national selectors by taking so long to score a maiden World Cup hundred.

The vice-captain produced one of the most memorable knocks of his spectacular career with a man-of-the-match 149 off 104 balls in the 53-run win over Sri Lanka in last weekend's final in Barbados.

The lethal left-handed opener has been responsible for handing Australia blistering starts over the past decade and has played a key role in the three straight World Cup triumphs.

But Gilchrist said he was "fretting" about his performance in the series right up until the day of the final.

"I don't know that one individual day can get any better than the way that day went, but I don't know if that means that I'm at the top of my game - the day before that I was fretting about not contributing to the World Cup with a high total," he told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground after the squad had breakfast with Prime Minister John Howard.

"From a selfish and individual perspective, it was really pleasing to finally pass the three figure mark in a World Cup game.

"I would imagine I have played about 31 or 32 World Cup innings and I am not a selector but I wouldn't be picking too many players as a selector if they were the results.

"But to get it on the occasion that it was was a great thrill."

Gilchrist, who top-scored for Australia in the 1999 and 2007 World Cup finals, wasn't sure where his man-of-the-match performance at the Kensington Oval was ranked in terms of the finest moments of his career.

"That was definitely one of the most fulfilling days of my cricketing career," Gilchrist said.

"It adds to all of the fine achievements which this team has achieved over our careers.

"We have not sat down and ranked them all but it was really pleasing and a big thrill.

"To be a part of it and as Rick (Ponting) mentioned three World Cups is very, very special."

With big name players Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn announcing their retirement in recent months, focus has switched to 35-year-old Gilchrist's future in the game.

Even though he says he will not play another World Cup, Gilchrist wants to keep playing for the love of the game.

"There's an excitement there, there's still a love for the game," he said.

"(But) if I walked away as well, it's not a matter of `oh that's just too many guys gone' - we're too well set up. We've got such a good infrastructure in Australian cricket. We're the world leaders big time in that area alone."

Asked if he had anything more to accomplish, Gilchrist said there was more to the game than the prizes and accolades.

"There's plenty of incentive without having to have the chance of one of these (a World Cup medal) hanging around your neck, or this type of reception coming home," he said.

"If the only goal was to play for Australia you'd retire after one game ... it was just to play cricket because I loved it."

Gilchrist and his teammates were greeted by thousands of cricket fans at a civil reception at Sydney's Martin Place where they were presented with gold victory rings.

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