Nobody in world cricket can fill Gilchrist's place: Boucher

Johannesburg, Jan 27 (UNI) Paying tribute to Adam Gilchrist, who announced his retirement after the third day of fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval, South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher said nobody in the world cricket can fill the Australian paramounts' place.

Gilchrist on Friday eclipsed his rival Boucher's record of 413 dismissals, when he caught India skipper Anil Kumble on the second day of Adelaide Test. The catch gave Gilchrist his 414th victim.

Boucher congratulated Gilchrist for his astounding contribution in the cricket.

''The night before I had sent him a text message after he went past me on the (Test dismissals) list, saying, 'congratulations on an incredible career, long may it continue,'' Boucher told The Sun-Herald from Cape Town last night.

''I really thought he could go on for another three or four years, but I guess with his family commitments he decided the right time to go was now.

''There have probably been better wicketkeepers in the game, but he revolutionised the game in terms of being a wicketkeeper- batsman. Gilly is streets ahead of the rest in that regard.

Absolutely, he is the guy who set the tone for everyone else in the game, and he has changed it forever.

''Before he came into the game, it was OK for a keeper to be averageing between 20 and 25 if he was doing a good job with the gloves. But Gilly came in and set new standards for all of us to follow.

''Like Jonty Rhodes changes the face of fielding, Gilly changed the role of keeper-batsmen.

The 31-years-old Boucher said without Gilchrist Australia will suffer because he is not only a great wicketkeeper but also a great batsman.

''Australia obviously has some really good players coming through, but you don't lose a guy like Gilly who can turn the games around by smashing the ball to all parts of the ground.

It's a major challenging the Australians are now facing. The players coming through might be very good, but without that experience it's going to be very difficult for them.'' UNI XC CS RAR RN1549

Story first published: Sunday, January 27, 2008, 16:04 [IST]
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