Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rahul Dravid

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

His retirement was hardly unexpected, but brought our unanimous praise and applause on a career that was extraordinary.  He had another gentleman of world cricket Anil Kumble at his side when he made his decision to retire public.  There was no need for one last series or one last test, just done with an overseas tour that was ordinary for Rahul as a cricketer, and disastrous for the Indian cricket team.

He is 39 years old, young in years but in cricketing terms is not so young.  Many of them retire in mid thirties, and very few go on as Rahul did over the years, and especially the statistics of the last few years belie that the age was a factor in his decision to quit all formats of professional cricket, barring IPL.

The retirement was not a surprise knowing the drive and dedication he has shown throughout his professional career, and continued stress on perfecting the art of batting, fielding, wicket keeping and also great dignity and respect for the gentleman’s game of cricket.  No outbursts, no emotional grandstanding, no arguments, no over jealous appealing, no sow of emotions, nothing that dissents from the spirit of the game; is all Rahul Dravid did all through his career, while delivering world class performance year after year for cricketing fans.

While in the company of the likes of Tendulkar, Sehwag, Laxman and other greats of cricket, Dravid always stood his ground; with performance and attitude that befit the great game of cricket and a great world class performer.  The years that he spent playing are full of extraordinary performances by many greats of cricket in the Indian team and also the global test teams.  None as polished and professional as Rahul Dravid, and when he announced his retirement, there was unanimous praise of the man who personified professionalism and personality that befits the game and its spirit.

One thing that stands out in Indian cricket is that the cricketers who come from Karnataka, Anil Kumble, G.R. Viswanath, B.S. Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna, along with a long list of other who have represented the country, are all great performers while being gentleman cricketers.  Most of these cricket greats let their on-field performance speak volumes and leave their emotions out of cricket.  Not to underline the state that delivered such gentle giants of cricket, but their performances are commendable in the annals of cricket.

While it is difficult to replace Rahul Dravid in the cricket team, he made the right decision to quit on his own terms.  The most endearing things to hear from is the appreciation for the game he has and continues to have, and his desire to find a simple and common mans daily chores to do that he has not been able to do with the dedication to the game he loves and played with great dedication.

While his slot in the cricket team will be difficult to fill, India will find outstanding cricketers to come in and contribute.  We still have a few more greats that are nearing their outstanding careers and we will see them exit the great game on their own terms, while we will see new and outstanding performers emerge into the international scene.  Rahul Dravid is a special man whose dedication is unmatched, and will certainly be in the minds of all budding cricketers who aspire to be a part of the Indian team.  He will forever be a role model to emulate and learn from.

Here is wishing him the best in retirement and all the happiness for a normal and fruitful life.  Rahul Dravid will continue to be a model for hard work and dedication for everyone in Cricket and for fact a great model for a dedicated and hardworking man in life.

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