March 9, 2012

Gentleman cricketer Dravid bids farewell to international arena


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The time finally came to bid farewell. After having carved a niche for himself during his 15-year stay in international cricket Rahul Dravid has decided to call it a day. He announced retirement in a press conference in his hometown Bangalore on March 9.

Narayanaswami Srinivasan, President, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and Anil Kumble, a former Indian captain and now President of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), was also present on the occasion.

The 39-year-old Dravid, having retired from One-day Internationals last year, has now quit Test cricket as well. He, however, will be in action in the upcoming fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he will be leading Rajasthan Royals.

His retirement had appeared on the cards after a dismal tour of Australia where the Indians were mercilessly exposed by the young brigade of home fast bowlers. He could have stayed on, had the form of the other two bigwigs, Sachin Tendulkar and V V S Laxman, not slumped simultaneously.

Tendulkar and Laxman, alongwith Virender Sehwag, had also flopped miserably in England last summer where Dravid’s three centuries went in vain due to the total failure of the other prolific batsmen.

With eight successive Test defeats overseas the time had come to bring about a change and induct newcomers to do the job. Dravid has taken the lead, despite having had a terrific last year. Now the pressure will be on Tendulkar and Laxman to follow suit.

Tendulkar’s retirement appears a matter of time too. Probably he is awaiting his 100th century in international cricket before he hangs his boots too. I think he will enjoy leading Mumbai Indians in the IPL where the settings are nearly ideal to his liking. I am not sure what Laxman is waiting for.

Indeed it’s a very sad day for cricket because the game will never be the same without Dravid and the Indian team in particular will miss him a lot. He was the one batsman who anchored the innings and let the stroke-makers do the business from the other end. It’s going to be very difficult to find anyone right away to perform that role.

More than anyone else he was a team man, who always gave more than one hundred percent, something which could not be said about his illustrious contemporaries with certainty.

Dravid was a great ambassador of the game and indeed a perfect role model for the gentleman's game. In fact he’s probably the last gentleman cricketer of an era when professionalism and greed caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the sport.

Instead of personal records or glories, he cared purely for the team’s interests. He did keep wickets, which was not his job, just to allow a balance in the side on a number of occasions, most notably the 2003 World Cup.

He aggregated 13,288 runs at 52.31 in 164 Test matches since making his debut against England at the Lord's in 1996. Only Tendulkar, with 15470, has scored more runs in Test matches. He remains the world record holder for the highest the number of Test catches (210).

1 comment

Priya Balan said...

I think cricket is great game world no 2 games.i like Trade Printing Related keyword. Thanks Wholesale Printing

Recent Posts