New cult hero Cooper Connolly has revealed how he was left in a state of shock after Test great Adam Gilchrist got in touch with him on the eve of his match-winning performance in the BBL grand final.
Connolly cracked an unbeaten 25 off 11 balls to help lift the Perth Scorchers to a famous five-wicket victory over the Brisbane Heat in Saturday night's BBL decider at Optus Stadium.
The 19-year-old pummelled 18 runs off the 18th over - bowled by James Bazley - to help set up the victory.
The two sixes and the four Connolly hit in that over sent the 53,886 crowd into raptures.
Connolly had only faced 11 balls in his three previous matches this tournament, but he showed nerves of steel when the final was on the line.
The day before the decider, Gilchrist sent him a text message to wish him luck.
"I just said all the best, you've done everything you can. Just go out and enjoy it," Gilchrist told Fox Sports.
"He messaged back and said, 'I can't wait to go out and soak it all up'. He's got a lifetime memory there."
Connolly, whose grand final heroics were rewarded with a two-year contract extension, couldn't believe it when he received the text message.
"I was in shock," he said.
"I was like, 'How has he got my number?'
"That gave me an extra boost of confidence."
Connolly was the Australian captain at the Under-19 World Cup last year, and he looks to have a bright future ahead in both red and white-ball cricket.
The batting allrounder feels his grand final heroics will hold him in good stead for the future.
"It just gives me that extra boost that I can play at this level," he said.
"A couple of games ago I wasn't too sure and this was like, 'I can play on the big stage and I'm confident in myself that I can perform under pressure'."
Connolly has worked hard on his spin bowling, and he heaped special praise on Ashton Agar for helping him.
"He's been so good for me," Connolly said.
"He's taught me how he goes about it and he's one of the best T20 spinners in the world, so to learn from him is amazing and he's an absolute hero of mine as well."
Connolly became an instant cult hero after the match, with large sections of the crowd chanting his name during the title-winning celebrations.
"Not many 19-year-olds get to play in front of 50,000 so I'm just here to soak it all in and enjoy the moment," he said.
"I'm so grateful for the crowd because they helped us get over the line."
When asked if he thought he would ever have to buy a beer again in Perth, Connolly smiled: "Hopefully not in the next couple of days. Maybe eventually, but the next couple of days I don't want to."