LANDING James Bond-style on Bradman Oval, Sir Vivian Richards and Adam Gilchrist made an impressive entrance yesterday.
The pair dropped by on their way to the Stumping Serious Diseases cricket match in Wollongong as they were flown in by helicopter.
With the inaugural Rare Cancers Australia cricket match also being played yesterday, players and fans alike were present to welcome the cricketing greats to Bowral.
For Gilchrist, it was his second trip to Bradman Oval, having played there as an under-17s representative player.
And for Sir Vivian, it was his first time setting foot on the hallowed ground.
Gilchrist welcomed the crowds and thanked them for the warm reception.
“Any welcome like we’ve received here today is truly appreciated,” he said,
An ambassador for the University of Wollongong for the past five years, gilchrist thanked the Bradman Foundation for its support.
“A wonderful endorsement recently was the coming together with the Bradman Foundation. We are thrilled to be involved and we really appreciate that the foundation looks upon us as an organisation of similar values and looking to continue the legacy of the great Sir Donald Bradman.”
Both took the first step towards being inducted into the Greats of the Game Gallery.
Passionate about preserving the history of the game, Sir Vivian said he was impressed with the museum and its contents.
“It sort of ignites the spirit. I myself was basically old school where cricket is concerned and to see all the stuff here that I as a kid would appreciate and why I got myself into the sport (is fantastic),” he said.
Richards said he was honoured to be a part of the Greats of the Game Gallery and hoped the museum would keep the legacy of Sir Donald Bradman for the next generation of cricketers.
“It’s moving for me as a cricketer to see this because I’m very passionate about not just what we have at present but what went by in the past. I’ve always been appreciative of that.”
“To me this just helps to keep the sport alive, helps give it the push and keep that legacy. That legacy I think is of such vital importance that kids today with the modern game itself, being able to know what went on in the past and to be here in the present.”
Both have had extraordinary careers for their countries and are known as some of the best cricketers to ever grace the field.
Adam Gilchrist as moved to see his ‘old baggy green’ on display in the museum. “It touched me,” he said, “I saw my whole career flash before my eyes.”
The community welcomed the two greats of the game and were excited to see the World Series Cricket gallery opened by Sir Viv and thrilled to receive autographs by both legends, Sir Viv and Adam Gilchrist.