To begin with, Rahul Sharad Dravid, thank you ever so much for all the memories. When on 9th March 2012 you said, it’s time for you to move on, I just thought to myself, will we – the fans – ever move on?
But, like all good things, his international and first class cricket innings too has come to an end.
I was way too young to be even a little part of anything he was, but I dreamt to be a part of a little something he did. And as luck would have it, I got to be a part of his farewell. I have never seen or for that matter even thought of cricket without Rahul Dravid. He is my parallel to cricket, he got me glued to the game. He became my reason to watch, enjoy and love this game, and that obviously is not going to change. And his cricketing talent is not what makes him the man he is. He’s way beyond just an excellent sportsman. Rahul epitomises dignity, perfection and humility.
All of 39, and he still was one of the fittest in the team. Some suggested that he should have retired after England tour, while some said he could have gone after one more Dravid-special-inning. But, I guess, the man took the right call. Just like the rest of his career this too came as a dignified, well-thought decision. I remember feeling a little hollow inside when he announced his retirement from One Day Internationals (This was my attempt to express how I felt.)
Ever so charming Rahul even on the day of his retirement said he finds it difficult to say no. That is the kind of team man Rahul has always been. He always kept the team over everything even when he was asked to keep wickets, he did, strangely enough but I even remember that match in which he bowled and got a wicket as well.
It was hard not too get carried away while he read out his farewell speech. It’s yet to hit me that he won’t be out there in the middle anymore, playing for India. But I guess it’s for the good. Like I said, when I heard the news of him probably announcing his retirement, thank god for simple joys. Thank god for a Rahul Dravid, thank god for his simplicity.
There is no scarcity of the praises and wonderful words that have been showered upon him. But this is not it, Dravid has a lot of cricket in him, hopefully cricketing world will have him around for a lot longer, as an expert, a mentor, a commentator, or maybe a writer, I am not sure what. I would wait to see for what lies ahead for the man who gave these glorious 16 years to the game with such grace and dignity. As one of the finest gentlemen of the gentleman’s game calls it a day, it goes without saying he’s going to be one of the most important chapters of the history of cricket.
The legend of Rahul Dravid is etched in memories of millions of fans and it’s a place well-deserved. A friend of mine said, Rahul Dravid there won’t be many like you, I disagree. Because, Rahul Dravid there won’t be anyone like you, ever.