In the world of cricket, Rahul Dravid is as scholarly as they come. During his international career that spanned 16 years, there was rarely a day when he wasn't skimming through magazines to learn what was written about him.
VVS Laxman pays tribute to Rahul Dravid yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Over the last three weeks, since he announced his retirement, Dravid was humbled by tributes that solidified his magnificent career. "I made a pact to myself three weeks back that I wouldn't cry in any of these (retirement) functions. Tonight, I have been tested to the limit," Dravid said.
"I have been really touched by the reaction to my decision to retire. What touched me was the care, attention and thought people have put into writing some of the really nice things people have said about me.
People have not gone about it casually. In fact, there are various qualities and virtues (about myself) that I have only discovered in the last few weeks. I am not going to complain about that. It has been really touching. Thank you," he said.
Dravid thanked Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni for their tributes. "Anil, I will miss your intensity. I will miss your desire. I might not miss some of the vegetarian meals: without mushroom, without onions, without garlic. But there is a lot of that that I will miss."
"Sourav, ours was a great partnership. With captains and vice-captains over a long period, it is a relationship like a husband and wife in some ways � it goes through its ups and downs. But I think we both agree that we came through with pretty much flying colours."
"To Laxman, thanks for one the greatest days in my cricketing career. Without you, Kolkata 2001 would never be possible. Thanks for your conversations at second slip, where many-a-topic including Ranji Trophy, to why contractors and architects are not doing a good jobs were discussed."
"Mahi, you can be really proud of what you have done with this Indian team. To watch you lift the World Cup was very special for me. There are challenges as you have noticed over the last bit of time, but I truly believe you have got the right temperament and capability to take the legacy of Indian cricket forward."