Sweeping them off their feet since 1996
by Dheemahi Turaga | Staff Writer
“Whilst there’s a competition still on, we’ve still got a chance.”
Every cricket savant in his late teens will have a thing or two to say when asked about Adam Gilchrist. A collection of incendiary batting performances and record-breaking wicket-keeping is just the icing on the cake. The cricketing legend has taken up various Ambassadorial positions and on this instance, he did not need to wield his bat to feel the love of Manipal.
Being the Education Ambassador and Brand Ambassador of University of Wollongong (UoW) for India, Adam Gilchrist accompanied a delegation of UoW officials to Manipal University on the afternoon of 11th November, 2016. At 2:30 p.m., the two universities, with neighboring campuses in Dubai, ratified a memorandum of understanding to establish a framework for collaboration in the fields of engineering, medicine and research. Capitalising on the 15-year rapport MU and UoW have, the memorandum sets sights on student and staff exchanges, and a long-term quid-pro-quo mechanism that benefits both universities and countries. After the press conference drew to a close around 4:00 p.m., the delegation made their way to the Futsal court in Marena to an inevitable roar of a frenzied crowd which was well in excess of the estimated number of 45 spectators. Fortunately enough for those spectators who turned up without an entry pass, the officials, surprised by the turnout, opened the doors to everyone who wished to catch a glimpse of Australia’s most prolific wicket-keeper.
“We love you!” An audience member sounded off, as the cricketing legend prepared to speak. Calm, cool and collected, much like his demeanor on the pitch, he reiterated the underlying long-term commitment from both signing parties. He related the golden opportunities available to every student here, to a ticket to achieve a lot more in the big bad world outside. He also spoke about his time in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a highlight of his career by his own admission.
The panel then accepted questions from the audience. Since anyone present for the press conference had to refrain from asking cricket related questions, they found an opening to unleash them now. Gilchrist answered a litany of questions regarding his routine off pitch, his test debut, his last World Cup and everything in between.
“The most intense moments were when I missed a stumping from Shane Warne’s bowling, McGrath would be bowling from the other end and Warne would come up and stand next to me at slip. That was intense!”
His final piece of advice to all the future Adam Gilchrists of Manipal was, “When in doubt, sweep ‘em.”
Much to the dismay of all the spectators, the event ended punctually at 4:15 p.m., as the Aussie cricketer was escorted before the autograph and selfie requests got out of control.