Gibbs, who is a Cape Coloured, was schooled at St Joseph's Marist College and then Diocesan College in Rondebosch. At backward point, he is considered by some to be the next Jonty Rhodes in his ability to hit the stumps, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the eighth highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the tenth highest success rate. Gibbs is said to rarely practice in the nets before a match. It is said he prefers to play on instinct in this case.
Gibbs is remembered for dropping a comparatively simple catch off Australia's Steve Waugh during the 1999 World Cup (see "Controversies" below). He became the first player to hit six sixes in one over in One Day International cricket, doing so against the Netherlands in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. On 8 June 2007 he got married in St Kitts to Tennielle Povey. In April 2008, Herschelle Gibbs was auctioned by and joined the Deccan Chargers of the Indian Premier League.
Gibbs is one of only three batsmen in ODI history to score hundreds in three consecutive innings, with the others being Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. On the 6 October 2002 in the 2nd ODI against Bangladesh, Gibbs had a chance to become the only batsman to score four hundreds in a row. South Africa were set 155 for victory and Gibbs fell just three runs short, finishing unbeaten on 97. When just six runs were needed for victory, Gibbs had the strike and was on 96 but Alok Kapali bowled a legside wide which went for four and his task was made too difficult.
On March 12, 2006, Gibbs played a monumental innings in the 5th ODI against Australia, scoring 175 off just 111 balls leading South Africa to victory. This was the highest scoring one-day international match in history and his innings broke several batting records. It was the highest ever score made in an ODI against Australia, beating Robin Smith's effort in 1993. By bringing up his hundred off just 79 balls, he also brought up what was at the time the fastest ever ODI century against Australia. More importantly however, it was the fastest ever hundred by a South African batsman against any opposition, although the record would be broken later in the year by Mark Boucher. It was also the highest ever score by a batsman in South Africa. He scored 126 runs in boundaries, the most ever by a batsman.
In the match against the Netherlands in the group stage of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Gibbs hit six sixes in an over off the bowling of Daan van Bunge becoming the first player in One Day International history to do so. Ravi Shastri and Sir Garfield Sobers had previously achieved this feat in first-class cricket but to date no player has achieved this in Test Cricket. In doing so, he raised US$1 million for the Habitat for Humanity housing projects as part of a contest run by tournament sponsor Johnnie Walker. It is likely that his being awarded citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis was due to this feat. His six hitting form continued throughout the tournament and when he hit Jacob Oram into the stands during a Super Eight match he drew level with Ricky Ponting on 28 for most sixes in World Cup history. He also played for Glamorgan in the 2008 County Twenty20 tournemant. He had a very successful time, his highest score being 98 off just 52 balls in a losing game against Northants. Herschelle has been linked to play a full part in Glamorgan's 2009 county season as an overseas player.
In the past two series against England and the West Indies he was brought down the order from opening batsman to the middle order due to lack of form. After the move he regained form and looked more comfortable batting against the older ball. On April 22, 2006, Gibbs paid the price for his recent run-drought, and was dropped for the second and third Tests against the New Zealand cricket team. He has been short of confidence in Test cricket of late, and scored only 6 and 2 in the First Test at Centurion Park. South Africa's chief selector, Haroon Lorgat said, "We had a meeting and agreed that a break and a fresh start next season will do him a world of good." This decision was widely viewed as a harsh one.
He came back into the side in the middle order but continued to struggle for runs. On the conclusion of the 1st Test against Pakistan in January 2007 he had gone over 2 years without a century. He had come close on many occasions to ending the drought, getting out in the 90's four times.
On the tour of the West Indies in 2001, along with several teammates he was found guilty of smoking marijuana.
Gibbs famously dropped a catch in a World Cup game against Australia in 1999, when he attempted to throw the ball up into the air in celebration before he had full control of it. The player that he dropped, Steve Waugh, went on to make a century and win the game for Australia, a victory which also gave the Australian side the momentum they required to go on and win the tournament. It was claimed at the time that, immediately after the dropped catch, Waugh had "sledged" Gibbs with the statement, "You've just dropped the World Cup", but, in his autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone, Waugh denies this. Waugh did state, however, that he had noticed that Gibbs had developed a habit of throwing the ball in the air prematurely after taking catches and instructed his players not to leave the crease too quickly if they happened to be caught by Gibbs, just in case the situation that happened to Waugh did actually eventuate.
Most notoriously, Gibbs was involved in the match fixing affair with former captain Hansie Cronje, who offered him $15,000 to score "less than 20" in the 3rd One-day International of a series. He tearfully claimed to the King Commission of inquiry into corruption in South African cricket that he didn't follow through on his side of the bargain, in fact scoring a fine 74. As a result he was banned for only six months. He has since repeatedly refused to tour India fearing arrest and has refused to even speak to Indian Police over the matter. However, Gibbs was named in the South African squad to tour India in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, and as a result, he had to meet with Indian Police over his involvement in the match-fixing scandal. On 15 January 2007 it was announced that Gibbs would face a disciplinary panel after making racist comments during the 1st Test against Pakistan. His words had been picked up on the stump microphone and as a result heard across the world. The comments were said to have been directed at members of the crowd after teammate Paul Harris had been abused by them whilst fielding. The Pakistani management made an official complaint to referee Chris Broad and Gibbs was banned for two Tests.
He appealed against the ban but this was rejected by the ICC's code of conduct commissioner, Richie Benaud. The ban was however changed to one Test, one Twenty20 game and one ODI match - all against Pakistan.
|Herschelle Gibbs's Test Centuries|
|||211*||13||New Zealand||Christchurch, New Zealand||AMI Stadium||1999|
|||120||14||New Zealand||Wellington, New Zealand||Basin Reserve||1999|
|||147||29||Zimbabwe||Harare, Zimbabwe||Harare Sports Club||2001|
|||107||31||India||Bloemfontein, South Africa||Goodyear Park||2001|
|||196||32||India||Port Elizabeth, South Africa||Sahara Oval St George's||2001|
|||104||38||Australia||Durban, South Africa||Sahara Stadium Kingsmead||2002|
|||114||40||Bangladesh||Potchefstroom, South Africa||Sedgars Park||2003|
|||228||43||Pakistan||Cape Town, South Africa||Sahara Park Newlands||2003|
|||183||50||England||London, England||The Oval||2003|
|||142||54||West Indies||Durban, South Africa||Sahara Stadium Kingsmead||2003|
|||142||55||West Indies||Cape Town, South Africa||Sahara Park Newlands||2004|
|||192||56||West Indies||Centurion, South Africa||SuperSport Park||2004|
|||161||63||England||Johannesburg, South Africa||Old Wanderers||2005|
|Herschelle Gibbs's One Day International Centuries|
|||125||20||Port Elizabeth, South Africa||Sahara Oval St George's||1999|
|||101||35||Leeds, England||Headingley Carnegie Stadium||1999|
|||111||47||Chennai, India||Nehru Stadium||2000|
|||104||65||St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda||Antigua Recreation Ground||2001|
|||107||68||Bridgetown, Barbados||Kensington Oval||2001|
|||125||71||Bulawayo, Zimbabwe||Queens Sports Club||2001|
|||114||97||Tangier, Morocco||National Cricket Stadium||2002|
|||116||103||Colombo, Sri Lanka||R. Premadasa Stadium||2002|
|||116||104||Colombo, Sri Lanka||R. Premadasa Stadium||2002|
|||153||105||Potchefstroom, South Africa||Sedgars Park||2002|
|||108*||111||Kimberley, South Africa||De Beers Diamond Oval||2002|
|||143||120||Johannesburg, South Africa||Old Wanderers||2003|
|||101||156||London, England||The Oval||2004|
|||100||160||Cape Town, South Africa||Sahara Park Newlands||2005|
|||118||162||Durban, South Africa||Sahara Stadium Kingsmead||2005|
|||175||185||Johannesburg, South Africa||Old Wanderers||2006|
|||111||213||Harare, Zimbabwe||Harare Sports Club||2007|
|||102||214||Lahore, Pakistan||Gaddafi Stadium||2007|
|||119||220||Cape Town, South Africa||Sahara Park Newlands||2007|
|||102||224||Johannesburg, South Africa||The Wanderers Stadium||2008|
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