Former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid shares the story of how his cricketing journey began 25 years ago with fans and young cricketers
Cricketing great Rahul Dravid celebrated his 43rd birthday on Januray 11 by thanking his fans through a video he posted on Facebook. As a thank you note to his fans, ‘The Wall’ shared the story of his first-class journey that began 25 years ago.
He released a short, illustrated video titled 'My First Class Journey'. "I was told today that 43 is the new 18. So let me share a story that started almost 25 years ago," he posted on his official Facebook page.
In the video he talks about the day when he got a call-up to the Karnataka Ranji team, the half-century (82) he scored in his first match which made him believe that he belonged at that level of cricket, and all the tricks he employed to calm down on the eve of a match. He goes on to narrate his experiences playing with the likes of Syed Kirmani, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, and GR Vishwanath.
Dravid also talks about his 'love at first sight' with Eden Gardens, where he played his second Ranji game. He reveals how he overdid the free colas and snacks on offer there, but that didn’t stop him from scoring his maiden first-class century in that match.
The batsman also shares anecdotes of travelling in a general compartment of a train as a member of the Karnataka Ranji team. Reminiscing about those trips, he reveals that he managed to acquire some quality lessons from former greats during those journeys. Dravid credits Ranji games for giving him a chance to see different places in India, and also playing on different kinds of wickets. "It’s a great learning ground and a competition that teaches humility and patience", the batting maestro says in the video.
Dravid talks about how desperate the Karnataka team was to win the Ranji Trophy, his first outing as the state team’s captain, and winning the Trophy in the 1995 season, and the celebrations that followed.
The batsman also mentions the growing anticipation of making it to the national side and speaks about the day when he first represented India in an International game.
The video ends with Dravid talking about how first-class cricket was the perfect finishing school for him and the moment in 1996, when he was walking up the steps up at Lord's after a catching session, Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin came up to him and said: 'Rahul, tum aaj khel rahe raho' (Rahul, you are playing today).
Rahul Dravid made his International debut on June 28, 1996 against England, at Lord's. He went out to become a mainstay of Indian batting line-up for the next fifteen years. He retired from international cricket in 2012 and is currently the coach of India U-19 and India 'A' teams.