||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (April 2010)|
|Batting style||Left-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Left-arm fast-medium|
|Domestic team information|
|1972–1980||New South Wales|
|Source: , 12 December 2005|
At the peak of his career, Gilmour combined spectacular, free-hitting batting with penetrative left-arm swing bowling and the ability to hang on to a blinding catch in the slips cordon. He earned comparisons with the great Alan Davidson.
Early life and education
Gary John Gilmour was born 26 June 1951 in the Newcastle suburb of Waratah. He attended Waratah Primary School and Newcastle Boys High School. He was awarded two "Blues" by the New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association: in 1967 (Baseball) and 1969 (Cricket).
A score of 122 on his debut for New South Wales in January 1972, first caught the eye of the Australian selectors, who weren't afraid to blood him at age 22 during an "experimental" season.
Gilmour's Test debut consisted of 52 runs and 4 for 75 in a big win over New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. However, he appeared in only two of the next five Tests, as Australia rotated through a number of players with an eye on the Ashes series later in the year. Gilmour gave them something to ponder with seven wickets in a Test at Auckland, which included 5 for 64 in the first innings to set up a series-tying victory.
1975 World Cup
Competition for fast bowling places in the Australian team was intense at this time. Gilmour wasn't selected for the 1974–75 Ashes series, but reappeared in green and gold when selected for the 1975 England tour, which included the inaugural World Cup. The Australians, inexperienced at one-day cricket, adopted a casual yet aggressive approach, often employing a full slips cordon for their opening bowlers. Gilmour was twelfth man in the early stages of the tournament, but selected for the semi final against England at Headingley. On a day tailor-made for his style of bowling, he finished with 12 overs, six for 14, thus bowling out the opposition for 93. This was the first time that a bowler had taken six wickets in an ODI, and remained the best ODI bowling performance until Winston Davis claimed 7–51 in the 1983 competition.
With the Australians almost defeated at 6 for 39 in reply, Gilmour thrashed 28 not out to push his team into the final. Although Australia lost the final to West Indies, Gilmour bagged another five wickets.
In the following Ashes series, Gilmour was called on only at Headingley, partly because of his World Cup effort there. He bagged 6 for 85 in the first innings, three more in the second innings, yet was dropped for the last Test.
Career from 1975–76
In 1975–76, Gilmour raised prospects that he was about to realise his potential. Playing five of the six Tests against the West Indies, Gilmour topped the bowling averages with 20 wickets at 20.3 and was given the new ball ahead of Dennis Lillee in Sydney. Although Gilmour's batting was still somewhat erratic, he thrashed 95 at Adelaide. The following summer against Pakistan, an injury to Jeff Thomson denuded the Australian attack, which was carried largely by Lillee, Gilmour delivering eight wickets in three Tests at 37.5. A brief tour to New Zealand followed, on which it became clear that Gilmour was struggling with a leg injury. His batting, hitherto unremarkable, won him a place in the record books in the first Test at Christchurch. Gilmour hit his only Test century, 101 in 146 balls and 187 minutes, combining with Doug Walters for an Australian record seventh-wicket partnership of 217. But Gilmour's powers as a bowler ebbed dramatically, so much so that he bowled only nine inconsequential overs in the Centenary Test at Melbourne in March 1977. The debilitating foot injury was a handicap: it turned out to be misdiagnosed; so was a light-hearted attitude to training and fitness that owed more to the 1950s than to the increasingly professional era of which he was part.
In 2009 he was appointed manager of the Newcastle representative cricket team.
Awards and honours
He has been made a member of Waratah Primary School's Hall of Fame.
In 2007, he was "named one of the best 30 players to have played one-day cricket for Australia".
In 2005 he underwent a liver transplant.
His three sons, Clint, Ben and Sam Gilmour and nephews, Mitch and Nathan Gilmour, all played cricket.
- Haigh, Gideon. "Gary Gilmour". ESPNCricinfo. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Olivia Dillon, "Former student among top 30 cricket stars", The Newcastle Herald, 17 May 2007, p 54 (Supplement).
- Chris Watson, "Home of champions" The Newcastle Herald, 6 June 2006 (Supplement: 100 years of NEWCASTLE HIGH SCHOOL : The Students) p44
- Bill Collins, Max Aitken and Bob Cork, One hundred years of public school sport in New South Wales 1889–1989 (Sydney, ca. 1990, New South Wales Department of School Education, p180ff)
- Six or More Wickets in an Innings in ODI Cricket, CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- Neil Goffet, "Mo appealing first-up speaker for De Courcy Club", The Newcastle Herald, 26 November 2009, p 65 (The Leading Edge column).
- Josh Leeson, "Dropped catches rob Kealy of wickets in opening spell", The Newcastle Herald, 7 October 2010, p 67 (The Leading Edge column).
- Neil Goffet, "Man behind Jaegers push dies at 57" (Obituary), The Newcastle Herald, 13 April 2007, p 50 (The Leading Edge column).
- Neil Goffet, "Waratah Girls just want to have fun", The Newcastle Herald, 13 January 2005, p 61 (The Leading Edge column).