As the cricketing world and Australia mourn the loss of one of its most adored figures, former Australia wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has revealed that he last spoke to his old teammate just eight hours before his untimely death. Rodney Marsh and Shane Warne, two of Australia’s biggest cricketing idols, died of heart attacks within 24 hours of each other, which was especially painful for Gilchrist, who had grown up idolizing Marsh and played much of his cricket alongside Warne.
“Shane and I spoke approximately a week ago. He sent me a very sweet text message. I’m guessing this happened about eight hours before he died. He had only just sent me a message. He was one of the only guys that contacted me church on a regular basis. It’s a nickname only the inner circle knew about — it came up because a young English admirer mistook me for Eric Gilchurch. He always referred to me as ‘Churchy,’ and it felt like a compliment from a buddy “Gilchrist told ABC News about the situation.
“‘Church, beautiful homage to Rod Marsh,’ he messaged me. I was quite honored to be asked to perform a voice over for it. We weren’t even close to coming to grips with the death of Rod Marsh, my childhood hero and another cricket star. ‘Well done on that sir,’ Warnie just messaged me. That was the last point of communication. I’ll never erase that text message.”
Gilchrist coined the nickname ‘Bowling Shane,’ after witnessing Warne’s wizardry up near and personal as a keeper. Gilchrist, who is known for his dynamic and aggressive batting style as well as his outstanding wicket-keeping abilities, remarked that all of that is secondary, and that keeping wicket for Warne will always be the ‘highlight’ of his career.
“Simply put, that was the pinnacle of my cricketing career. Forget about the runs and everything else, Shane Warne needs to keep his wicket… Ian Healy and I had essentially the best seats in the house to watch a virtuoso in action. It all began at the pinnacle of his bowling mark. In reality, it all began when he removed his hat. And the crowd was aware that he was about to enter the bowling alley. Give the umpire the hat, and proceed to the top of the mark “Gilchrist continued.
“Then there are the theatrics. It was almost as if someone there was a film director… a Spielberg type of person. All he did was pull the strings, set everything up, and build it up to the point where he always grabbed his prey. It was an incredible perspective, and I’d say that Shane’s keeper-bowler relationship was a very intimate element of my journey.”
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