Karachi:Recently retired cricket star Adam Gilchrist has been named chairman of the National Australia Day Council.
The council coordinates Australia's Jan. 26 national day celebrations and organizes the Australian of the Year awards.
Special Minister of State John Faulkner announced the appointment Tuesday, saying Gilchrist would bring energy and commitment to the work of the council.
"He has demonstrated great drive and leadership throughout his professional career while maintaining a high standard of integrity," Senator Faulkner said in a statement. "His passion for Australia and his motivational leadership will be invaluable."
Gilchrist retired from test and limited-overs international cricket in January, ending a career highlighted by his stunning stroke-making and rapid scoring rate.
Batting in the middle-order in tests, he scored 5,570 runs in 96 test matches at an average of 47.60 - hitting almost 82 runs per 100 balls - and regularly opening in the ODIs, he scored 9,619 runs at a strike rate of 96.94.
He also took 379 catches and made 37 stumpings in test cricket and 417 and 55 in one-dayers, ranking him among the most prolific wicketkeepers of all time.
Yet despite the figures and his success in leading Australia to a rare test series win in India, the 36-year-old Gilchrist might be equally remembered for his sportsmanship.
Gilchrist walked off, despite being given "not out" by umpire Rudi Koertzen, after he edged a ball onto his pads and was caught behind during Australia's 48-run win over Sri Lanka in a World Cup semifinal in South Africa in 2003.
Australia went on to win the World Cup, one of its three in succession since 1999.