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|Full name||Gary John Gilmour|
26 June 1951|
Waratah, New South Wales
|Died||10 June 2014
Sydney, New South Wales
|Batting style||Left-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Left-arm fast-medium|
|Domestic team information|
|1972–1980||New South Wales|
|Source: ESPNcricinfo, 12 June 2014|
Gary "Gus" John Gilmour (26 June 1951 – 10 June 2014) was an Australian cricketer who played in 15 Tests and 5 One Day Internationals (ODIs) between 1973 and 1977.
At the peak of his career, Gilmour combined "talented hitting" with "penetrative" left-arm swing bowling and strong slip catching. He earned comparisons to the Australian all-rounder Alan Davidson. He was called "Newcastle's greatest all-rounder and arguably its greatest cricketer".
Early life and education
Gilmour was selected to play for Newcastle while still a teenager, and played against the West Indies when he was only 18.
First Class Cricketer
A score of 122 on his debut for New South Wales in January 1972, first caught the eye of the Australian selectors, who chose to select him at age 22. Gilmour's Test debut consisted of 52 runs and 4 for 75 in a 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 took 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.
1975–76: Career Peak
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. Later it was revealed that Gimour had been bowling all summer with a bone "the size of a five-cent piece" floating around his heel.
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. Gilmour later says he "was a fool" for not pulling out of the test. His poor form saw him omitted for selection on the 1977 Australian Tour of England.
"I was driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge one night and the team was read out," recalled Gimour. "My name wasn't in it. That really peeved me."
World Series Cricket
Gilmour signed to play World Series Cricket and enjoyed varying success. In 2003 he would reflect that from "a financial point of view" joining World Series Cricket was the correct decision but "from a career point of view... I don't know. The jury's still out."
During World Series Cricket Gilmour had the occasional run-in with Kerry Packer. He later recalled:
It was a freezing night at VFL Park in Melbourne and they had just introduced the stump microphone. Rainy, miserable night it was. Ray Bright was our 12th man and I spent several overs trying to get his attention. In the end I yelled into the stump mic, 'Hey Brighty, where's me f---ing jumper?' I thought they'd cut it out, but apparently it went to air. Packer wasn't impressed. Got hauled over the coals for that one!
Following the end of World Series Cricket, Gilmour only played two more first class games for New South Wales. "They had me earmarked for destruction," he later claimed of the Australian cricket establishment. His first career was over at the age of 27. However he continued to play for Belmont in Newcastle District Competition.
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 2010, the new training nets at Lugar Park, Kotara were named in his honour.
Gimour suffered poor health in the last years of his life. He had a congenital narrowing of the main artery to the liver and in 2005 he underwent a liver transplant. He suffered ill-health for many years which was exacerbated by a fall. He died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney on 10 June 2014.
"He was at the front of the queue when they were handing out talent, but unfortunately he was right at the back of the queue when they handed out health and good luck," said his captain Ian Chappell.
His older brother, Greg "Sleepy" Gilmour was the main force behind the Hunter Jaegers joining the national netball league and played first-grade rugby union for Merewether-Carlton and Wanderers. His three sons, Clint, Ben and Sam Gilmour and nephews, Mitch and Nathan Gilmour, all played cricket.
Teammate Kerry O'Keeffe said on Gilmour's death:
He wasn't a gregarious bloke, really. He was actually quite retiring, but he was always up for a bit of fun. He never seemed to take his cricket all that seriously, in that country way. Numbers didn't mean much to him. In a lot of respects he had that 'Hookesy' outlook. Why would you get eight not out in 10 overs? He couldn't understand, what's the use of that? His record suggests unfulfilled talent and I guess that's what it was to a certain extent.
Another teammate, Steve Bernard said:
As a cricketer he was the most talented player of my time, a guy who had extraordinary talents in every facet of cricket. In hindsight he probably didn't reach the heights that he should have, based on his cricket ability, but the guys who played with him and against him will recognise he was a fantastic player, who was dynamic in anything he did in cricket. When he was on he was unplayable. He bowled a swinging ball, he could hit the ball a mile, throw it like a bullet and he was a fantastic catcher either close to the wicket or in the outfield – a supreme cricketer. He was a very popular person, Gus, a bit of a larrikin and very much liked by everyone. He didn't take life all that seriously, played for the enjoyment of it.
- Haigh, Gideon. "Gary Gilmour". ESPNCricinfo. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Gary Gilmour: Charisma at the crease" By DAN PROUDMAN Newcastle Herald 10 June 2014 accessed 11 June 2014
- 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.
- Chris Ryan, "Whatever became of Gus Gilmour?", The Age 23 March 2003 accessed 11 June 2014
- 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).
- "Gary Gilmour dead, aged 62", Sydney Morning Herald 10 June 2014 accessed 10 June 2014
- 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).
- "Gary Gilmour dead, aged 62" By Chloe Saltau and Chris Barrett Inverell Times June 10, 2014 accessed 11 June 2014
- "Gary Gilmour dies at 62" by Brydon Coverdale and Daniel Brettig, Cricinfo 10 June 2014 accessed 11 June 2014