Meet the man behind Rahul Dravid becoming 'The Wall'

Updated: 15 July, 2020 13:48 IST | Bipin Dani | Mumbai

Nima Namchu, the man behind Dravid's nickname The Wall, isn't surprised by ex-skipper's world record in Test cricket

Rahul Dravid defends one during the second Test against West Indies 
at Barbados in 2011. PIC/AFP
Rahul Dravid defends one during the second Test against West Indies at Barbados in 2011. PIC/AFP

The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently revealed Rahul Dravid's world record—facing more deliveries (31,258) than anyone else in Test cricket, a feat that truly justifies his nickname, The Wall. The record has come as no surprise to Nim Namchu, the man who coined that term for Dravid. "I'm not surprised by the world record. In his quiet, understated style, Dravid was always dynamite. One of the lines for that campaign featuring Rahul was 'tomorrow is mine',"

Namchu, an independent creative consultant with over 26 years of experience in the Indian advertising industry, told mid-day over the phone from Italy.

"This was sometime between 1997 and 1998. I was a copy supervisor with Leo Burnett in New Delhi, which was the ad agency for Reebok India then. They had just signed several sportspersons across categories and the campaign we were working on, required us to give a sobriquet to each sportsperson.

nima Namchu
Nima Namchu

"We came up with a name for every star. Mohammed Azharuddin was Azhar, the Assasin. Javagal Srinath was Javelin Srinath. For Rahul, I came up with The Wall. The nicknames weren't thought of off-the-cuff. We watched how they played and more importantly, how they handled themselves both on and off the field. The Wall came from how Rahul stood up to [South Africa] fast bowler Allan Donald. Though he was young and fresh, Rahul was simply unshakeable even in the most stressful situations. So, The Wall just seemed to fit him naturally."

Namchu has bumped into Dravid a couple of times but never told him that he was the one behind his famous nickname. The first time was during the shooting of a television commercial in 1998 at the Wankhede Stadium. They met again in 2003 during the Rolling Stones concert at Palace Grounds in Bangalore, where they ended up sitting next to each other.

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First Published: 15 July, 2020 07:39 IST

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