Hats off to Rahul Sharad Dravid- a man who has taken the most number of catches and bowled the most number of times in test cricket, a man who was the first to score a century in all the 10 test playing nations then and a man who has to his credit 19 century partnerships with one person, the God of Cricket- Sachin Tendulkar, which is a world record!
When Dravid crossed 10,000 Test runs, a wall was built at his home ground – the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore to commemorate the landmark. The wall contains 10,000 bricks, a silhouette of Dravid batting and the words ‘Commitment, Consistency, Class’ inscribed on it. The wall also has a digital run counter on it that keeps updating the number of Test runs Dravid has scored.
He has been a role model to many. He’s taught everyone how to handle difficult situations.
When he was passing a rough phase in his cricketing carrier, he faced all the criticism without anger. This IS how a cricketer should be unlike certain emerging cricketers of this age, who make horrible gestures and use harsh words to other players for the smallest of arguments or fights and at the crowd for teasing them or for holding banners that express something against them- a few things an educated person shouldn’t do.
Rahul Dravid is the supporting Wall for many other cricketers. Without him, survival on-field and off-field is tough! He teaches them the tricks on-field and off-field, he teaches them GOOD character! Thats how a cricketer ought to be.
In the cricket world where “match-fixing” has become THE word, one cricketer who need not come into mind is, for sure, Rahul Dravid because, in his dictionary, the words- My India and This Nation’s Pride Lies In My Hands are highlighted!
Sachin’s words to the great man on his retirement: “There can be only one Rahul Dravid!’ So true.
Anil Kumble on Dravid’s retirement: “It has been a glorious carrier embellished by Rahul’s contributions. To many, a memorable victory for India and Karnataka. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Rahul. Rahul, we’ve enjoyed every run that you’ve scored, I’ve enjoyed every moment that I’ve played with you. Its been a great honor. My first thoughts had drawn to Rahul- my friend and colleague for 20 years- quiet, unassuming and completely consumed to his enthusiasm and passion for the game. Rare are those individuals who hold that unique combination of exceptional talent and commitment. His ability to concentrate for long hours remains unmatched. He is someone who is constantly in search of perfection and this attributed in striving for excellence at all times. His carrier saw over 13000 runs in test, over 10000 runs in One-day Internationals and a very unique record of over 400 catches in international cricket- a fantastic record indeed. However they only capture his contributions partly. His reassuring presence at the crease or on the field allowed every other batsman the rare indiscrete shot. I was really fortunate to have played alongside you. Its been an honor. You’re the perfect ambassador for cricket and an ideal team man. We have shared some wonderful moments together on the field and have had our share of worries as well. In all of it, you’ve been a constant friend and a colleague that I depended on for advice. Now as a different role, as president of the Karnataka Cricket Association, I wish to say that you are an inspiration and role model and you’ve been responsible for a lot of young cricketers to have taken up the game. You are amongst Karnataka’s finest cricketing stars.” Such is the respect given to this one great man!
Rahul Dravid on his retirement: “I would like to announce my retirement from international and domestic first-class cricket. It has been 16 years since I played a first test match for India and I feel it is time to move on. Once, I was like every other boy in India, with a dream of playing for my country. Yet, I could never have imagined a journey, so long and so fulfilling. I’ve had a wonderful time. But now its time for me for a new generation of young players to make their own history and take the Indian cricket team even further. No dream is ever changed alone. As I look back, as one does at such a time, I have many people to thank for supporting me, for teaching me and believing in me. My approach to cricket was very simple. It was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I’ve done some of that. I have failed at times but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride. Thank you.” He thanked so many people in his speech.. I haven’t included because the list was long. The last 4 sentences… that simplicity is what makes him an excellent human being and a man of words, deeds and cricket too!
Theres a lot to learn from the Wall- a humble and dedicated man!
“Rahulji, thusshi great ho!