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IPL Staff in Dharamsala 20 May 2012 - 05:01pm IST

I've played my last game: Gilchrist

KXIP skipper hopes to return in only coaching capacity next year

After the Kings XI Punjab lost their last match of IPL 2012, their skipper Adam Gilchrist said that could be the end of his cricket playing career. Gilchrist led KXIP during the team’s six-wicket loss against the Delhi Daredevils at Dharamsala on May 19, which ended the Mohali franchise’s playoff aspirations.

"I would say I've played my last game of cricket just there," Gilchrist said after the match. "I'll go away and have a think about it and talk to the franchise. If the franchise is still keen to keep me involved as coach, which is a role I've really enjoyed, I find that I still enjoy being around the group. To be honest, I didn't miss the cricket that much.

"I loved the fact that I could play the last couple of games, but I didn't have the horrible desire that I was missing out. There isn't that fire burning in my belly quite like it used to [be]. I have to think about it, but I just feel I won't be playing."

Gilchrist missed almost a month of the IPL due to a hamstring injury but remained involved with the team in the capacity of a mentor. The former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman, who retired from international cricket in 2008, led the Deccan Chargers to the IPL title in 2009, before taking up the captaincy of KXIP in 2011. In the current season, he has assumed the role of a captain-cum-coach of the team.

KXIP missed out on a playoffs berth with their last defeat. While disappointed with the end result, Gilchrist took heart from the performances of his young players. "To miss the playoffs was disappointing. But there were some positives, especially the performance of some of the domestic players. Mandeep Singh, Gurkeerat Singh, Parvinder Awana... They've all done well and the exciting thing is that there's still scope for them to learn, improve, develop and make that adjustment to the next level."

In 67 IPL games, Gilchrist has scored 1,775 runs at 27.73 and a strike-rate of 140.20. He’s one of the three batsmen to score two IPL centuries and he also has 10 fifties under his belt. The legendary wicketkeeper-batsman said the tournament will hold an important part in the wealth of cricket memories he’s acquired over the years.

"The IPL will feature prominently in my memories of cricket. To come [back] with a team [Deccan Chargers] that was last the previous year and win the title was very special. One of the great memories of my cricket career was at this ground last year – that partnership [206 against Royal Challengers Bangalore] with Shaun [Marsh]. So yeah, it has been a great experience."

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