Wollongong University announced the Bradman Scholarship and the Bradman Foundation said that they will induct former Indian batsman Rahul Dravid as an honouree with former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist at the helm of all this activity.
The foundation had also inducted another former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar as an honouree a couple of years ago. Gilchrist pointed out that Bradman never played in India, but his biggest fan-base was here. “I remember the news of Sir Donald Bradman passing away came at 2.30 in the morning during this very meet in Mumbai last time. It was an extraordinary reaction from the people. It is a day I will never forget,” he said.
Gilchrist also supported Sachin Tendulkar being conferred the Membership of the Order of Australia, saying that he has helped in forging relations between the two countries. “Just as India respects Bradman, Australia has a lot of respect for Tendulkar,” he said.
On Tendulkar’s recent form, he said, “A few times in 22 years, there’s going to be some trough. I am not saying he is in a trough or not. I am not sure, where he places himself well enough. He has been in that 22 years, we were asked has he reached his peak. I am sure he himself doesn’t feel he is at the peak of his career. I have got no doubt that his desire and appetite for success remains,” said Gilchrist.
The Australian, who captained the now-defunct Deccan Chargers to victory in the second edition of the IPL, called for better governance in the Twenty20 format.
“It is difficult for fans. Obviously, to have teams there and then suddenly disappear. I am sure there will be some confusion that the IPL governing body has to ensure to maintain the trust of the fans, to which at this point maybe hasn’t been available for fans. I just think it is the pace with which the T20 juggernaut, more with the IPL concept, was conceived and then rolled out and presented. It is just five years old and it is a huge industry,” he said.
“Because of the pace, it hasn’t allowed a foundation or a base to form and work from and grow from. It has been on the run and on the move the whole time. Obviously with that quick decisions have been made whether it’s from franchise or governing bodies, whether its from players,” Gilchrist said.
“It’s all done in such haste that it hasn’t allowed a strong foundation to be developed. I am not saying anyone has to be blamed for that, that is just the nature of the beast. With that there has been some casualties,” he said.
“Whether a team is going to be in existence or am I going to get paid and players get paid handsomely there is no denying that. If you provide services to a job and then don’t receive payment for that, obviously that is going to turn you off from wanting to come back and to put yourself in the position again. Obviously, it needs to be governed well,” he said.
Gilchrist expected the India-England series to be closely fought. “Players feel comfortable when they are playing at home in familiar conditions. That will be a huge part. Both the teams stack up well against each other. Both are pretty evenly-matched and they would like to take a match off the other. It will be hardcore and entertaining and I am looking forward to that,” he said.
“Both teams tend to be aggressive. I don’t think the 4-0 outcome last time in England’s favour will come into it. It is a different ball game here. For England, it is different leadership and variety of issues they have faced. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and it was in different conditions,” he added.