What’s the story?
During his county’s incredible world record chase of 434 against Australia in 2006, the right-handed batsman was nearly deemed unfit to even take the field.
The 43-year-old revealed in his autobiography, ‘To the Point: The No-holds barred Autobiography’ that during his man-of-the-match knock of 175 in that game, he was nursing a hangover after a night of drinking just the previous day.
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Michael Hussey also recalled the incident in his own autobiography, saying, “Just before I went to bed an hour later I looked over the railing outside my hotel room and there he (Gibbs) was, still in that spot. At least he was a free wicket.”
Australia squared off against the Proteas in the series-deciding 5th ODI at the Wanderers, Johannesburg in March of 2006. Batting first, they scored a remarkable 434 runs at a run-rate of over 8 runs an over.
The hosts pulled off the unthinkable in the chase, winning the match with one ball remaining and just one wicket to spare. Though there ever vital contributions from Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher, Gibbs' 175 off 111 balls proved to be the reason they managed to win the game.
Herschelle Gibbs has courted controversy throughout his illustrious career. It was arguably his unapologetic, no-holds-barred spirit that made him the kind of attacking cricketer that he was.
While a number of cricketers might have omitted such an incident from their autobiography, Gibbs was more than willing to share the details. It was reported that Gibbs appeared at the breakfast table still half-drunk having spent most of the night out.
Michael Hussey, who had stepped out for dinner with compatriot Nathan Bracken, had noticed the South African spending over 3 hours in the same spot.
Gibbs scored 175 runs off 111 balls with 21 fours and 7 sixes at a strike-rate of 157.65 to take his side home.
Hindsight’s a beautiful thing and hindsight is probably what saved Herschelle Gibbs’ career after the game. Graeme Smith and coach Mickey Arthur were apparently furious by the batsman’s behavior, and severe action could have been taken had the match not panned out the way it did.