Bengaluru, May 15: If one is asked to name one cricketing talent from Australia who was among the best, but yet did not survive the distance, it has to be Gary Gilmour.
The left-armer had played just three years of international cricket in the mid-1970s but within that short span, he had given enough glimpse of the special talent he had possessed.
The New South Wales cricketer, who died in the year 2014 at the age of 62, had played only 15 Tests and five ODIs for Australia, but within that, he had scored a hundred, three fifties besides taking five five-wicket hauls across the two formats.
In his brief ODI career, Gilmour's biggest feat was perhaps taking 11 wickets in the semifinal and final of a ICC Cricket World Cup (his total tally of wickets in ODIs is 16).
Gilmour got to play his first match of the 1975 WC in the semifinal against England at Leeds and overall it was his just third ODI. Till then, he had just taken three wickets. Despite that, Australian captain Ian Chappell asked Gilmour to open the bowling with the legendary Dennis Lillee and he rocked the hosts on the day, taking six wickets for just 14 runs in 12 overs at an economy rate of 1.16! He dismissed six of the top seven batsmen as England were all out for a paltry 93 in the 37th over. The fast bowler's record remained the best in the ODIs till West Indies' Winston Davis took 7 for 51 in 1983. Later, Glenn McGrath bettered even that with his 7 for 15 to take the best bowling record in the WC back to Australia.
Gilmour had recalled that match years later saying he did not want to stop that day and looked to bowl and bowl. Gilmour did his job with the bat as well, with an unbeaten 28 down the order after they slumped to 39 for six chasing the modest target. The performance earned him a place in an Ashes Test the same year.
Gilmour reproduced the magic in the final against the West Indies at Lord's by picking up five wickets for 48 runs and his scalps included some of the greats like Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards. However, his show couldn't earn Australia a win in the final as a batting collapse saw them losing by 17 runs.