With a lack of cricket being played across the world at the moment, I thought I would go back to one of my favourite cricket memories.
No, not a game-winning century by Ben Stokes against Australia. Not Dennis Lillee slicing through the top-order in the Centenary Test. Not John Dyson – part fielder, part soccer goal-keeper – on the SCG boundary.
One of my favourite memories of cricket is the dismissal of the greatest wicketkeeper this country has produced.
Adam Gilchrist retired holding the world record for the most number of dismissals in the history of Test cricket in addition to the most dismissals in the history of ODI cricket. He was a devastating batsman who redefined the role of the wicketkeeper-batsman forever. He scored more centuries than any other wicketkeeper in the history of the game; at one stage held the record for the fastest ever Test double century and retired with a Test average of 47.6 at a strike rate of 81.95. He is still the only player to have hit 100 sixes in Test cricket.
Yet when he retired, with all of these records behind him, what did they say about him?
He was honest! When he nicked the ball, he would walk. Revolutionary! He didn’t wait until the umpire made a decision, hoping that the umpire didn’t hear the nick. He just walked.
Most famously, he walked in the crucial semi-final match of the World Cup in 2007 when his dismissal could have meant his team exited the World Cup. They didn’t—and he came out in the final and scored 149 off 104 balls to single-handedly win the game for Australia with 53 per cent of the team score. This is still the highest score by an individual in a World Cup final.
The point is that people will remember your honesty long after they remember your other achievements. They will remember your honesty long after they remember if your price was dearer than a competitor. Clients will want to deal with you.
It is almost impossible to apply one set of ethics to one field of activity and apply a different set of ethics to other areas of your life. Your ethical rules that govern your business life will be the same as those that apply in your day-to-day life.
Would I employ Adam Gilchrist? Absolutely! I would be certain that a guy who would walk in a World Cup semi-final would be 100 per cent honest in his dealings with my business and my clients.
I’d also be confident that he would put his hand up if I asked who ate my last biscuit from the lunchroom!