Dharamsala: Almost a year to the day he announced that he had played his last game of cricket, former Australia wicketkeeper turned captain of Kings XI Punjab has confirmed that he will step away from the game at the end of IPL 6. Gilchrist revealed his decision to quit after playing a role in Punjab's seven-run win over Delhi Daredevils on Thursday, which kept their flickering hopes of making the IPL 6 play-offs alive.
On May 20, 2012 after Punjab were beaten by Delhi in Dharamsala, Gilchrist said at the post-match conference that he was stepping away from cricket. However, he made a u-turn and rejoined the Mohali-based IPL franchise as captain ahead of the sixth season.
"Last year, I sat here and said I am finished, I probably won't come back, but I came back. I am not looking for any grandstand finish, but in two days, it will be [the] last time I play on this ground," said Gilchrist at the HPCA Stadium on Thursday. "Little things like that are really exciting and lift your enthusiasm levels. I just love this place, this region, it's been one of the greatest experiences of my cricketing life, to be able to come up here and play cricket."
Gilchrist, 42, has so far totalled 2064 runs at 27.52 in 79 IPL matches - the most by a wicketkeeper in the league. After a lean run in IPL 6, he burst to life with an unbeaten 85 off 54 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore and 42 off 26 balls to help set up a match-winning total against Delhi.
Punjab play Mumbai Indians on Saturday in Dharamsala needing a win to keep them alive in the tournament. Before that, however, they need Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose on Friday.