++ on the walk +++++++
Andrew Denton: It was great what you did. Ricky Ponting came out later and said he wouldn't encourage the other players to necessarily do it. What was the reception…
Adam Gilchrist: That was very politely put by him too. You should have heard what he said to me in the change room!
Andrew Denton: What did he say? What was the reception? Family show, obviously.
Adam Gilchrist: Well, the amazing thing, it wasn't what he said, but what he and the rest of the team-mates didn't say. The silence was killing me.
Andrew Denton: Really?
Adam Gilchrist: I went back in there and once I'd settled down and taken my gear off and sat down and looked at all the guys, I was thinking, "This is alright. Ricky's in there, he will save us." And he
got out and suddenly we were 3 for 30 and I started to panic. I thought, "I've started a collapse. World Cup semi. It's all over."
Andrew Denton: So nobody appreciated the act of sportsmanship?
Adam Gilchrist: I think everyone does eventually, but at the time I was looking around wanting to explain myself to the team-mates but I couldn't get eye contact with anyone.
On Slater episode
..you talk quite frankly about a rumour that surfaced on the Internet that you weren't the father of your own child. Can you talk us through what happened?
Adam Gilchrist: Yeah, that's obviously, again, the first thing that springs to mind whenever that is raised with me is that separation again of Mel and I. I was in South Africa, not just recently in the
World Cup, but last year and, yeah, it's a funny one. Out of nowhere this rumour came up, as you say, speculating about the father of Harry and who it may be, and suggesting it was a former team-mate of mine, Michael Slater. But the toughest thing about that was the separation between Mel. She was back in Australia, Harry was only three or four
months old. So just the stress and strain that put on her and the strength that that she showed to get through that was unbelievable. That was a time when I felt very, very guilty for being so far away.
Andrew Denton: It took on a life of its own, though, didn't it? You walked out to bat in South Africa, and what did you see in the crowd?
Adam Gilchrist: Yeah, I guess…it was almost laughable that the suggestion that was doing the rounds. But it never went to the press. Fortunately it's not one of those situations where I want to sit and bag the press — they didn't touch it and the press were fantastic. But
I didn't know how widespread it had got but it hit the Internet and the email rounds and it seemed to go everywhere, but I wasn't sure if it had reached the South African shores. But I went out to bat on day one and there were banners asking about, you know, "Who's the father of your child?" and there were others saying, "It was Slater, Slater"
and the crowd were yelling out things. So I was pretty upset and emotional.
Andrew Denton: You shed some…a tear, didn't you?
Adam Gilchrist: Eventually. I managed to get 100 that game and I remember being on 99 and thinking, "If I get this 100, how am I going to react? Am I going to jump around in joy, am I going to do the big
clenched fist and 'Stick that up youse' kind of attitude to the crowd, to the people out there?" In the end I had no control over what happened. I sort of raised my bat to the team-mates who were wonderfully supportive and very understanding of the scenario and of
the pressures that I was under. And then just knelt down and basically everything flooded back to me about what had happened that week, and Mel and Harry — that's all I could think of. Some tears welled up and, yeah, it was the first time I remember crying on the cricket field.
Not necessarily in a match — I remember crying with my brothers in the backyard…quite often actually. But, yeah, it's the toughest thing I've had to get through in my cricketing career and my public life as a
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