One of the finest sportsmen the country has ever produced, Rahul Dravid was known for his copybook stances, his nerves of steel and of course, the exemplary
One of the finest sportsmen the country has ever produced, Rahul Dravid was known for his copybook stances, his nerves of steel and of course, the exemplary sportsmanship that he has always carried with him on field. A legendary batsman, the right-hander’s spot has still not seen a suitable replacement. Given the number of matches in which Dravid has driven India to victory, he’s somwthing of a hero to Indian cricket. However, that’s not the only reason why Dravid has a special place in our hearts – it’s his off field deeds that has proven time after time that he’s a hero beyond the 22 yards as well.
1. Dravid is never a part of the rat-race
Fifty-seven people had applied for the post, and 21 were shortlisted as Team India’s new cricket coach. It took a lot of consideration on the part of Cricket Advisory in Kolkata who finally went with Anil Kumble. However, Dravid was the original choice of the selectors and had he taken up the offer, there would have been hardly any discussion on the table. While other cricket legends like Ravi Shashtri complained loudly about their rejection, blaming selectors for being biased, or having personal vendetta, Dravid rejected the offer in spite of being offered big money. His reason was simple – he was coaching the U-19 team at that time - he had already led them to a World Cup victory and didn’t want to lose focus.
2. A hero with a heart of gold
It was the last wish of a dying young man, Akshay Dhoke, to talk to his childhood hero Rahul Dravid. His friend had shared a video of the terminally ill cancer patient expressing his wish, and decided to contact the man himself on email. Luckily for him, Dravid checks his own emails and immediately set up a Skype call with Dhoke. The two spoke for almost an hour and Dravid also apologised for not being able to be there personally. Dhoke, unfortunately enough, passed away a few days after the incident, but you can tell from the video that he had his moment in that conversation.
3. He loves the game in the truest spirit
Dravid, one of the biggest names in international cricket, doesn’t mind playing a local club match even though he has 13,000+ international test runs. You can imagine the how the morale of young aspiring cricketers was boosted when the legend decided to play with them on grassless, muddy grounds with no proper toilets or parking facilities. It wasn’t simply a gesture of encouragement – Dravid stood up as the official ball shiner of the team, fielded without asking for a 12th man for 82 straight overs, motivating the players all the while. The account was published on Wisden India by a junior cricketer, who was left speechless by the simplicity of this legend.
4. All he ever needed was two sets of clothes
This comes straight from Rahul Dravid’s wife, Vijeeta Dravid. Commenting om Dravid’s limited demands from life, she said, “If I packed only two sets of informal clothes, he would rotate them through an entire tour if he had to and not think about it. He doesn’t care for gadgets, and barely registers brands – of cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat was off by a gram, he would notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed.”
5. Dravid is quite the super dad
Dravid, quite unknowingly sets the bar quite high for other dads. In an open letter to Rahul Dravid, one Mrs. Srividya Ram writes how amused she was to see Rahul Dravid dropping his children off to school in spite of his busy schedule. Mrs. Ram, whose kids go to the same school, spotted Dravid, shy and gentle, trying to hide behind car lest anybody sees him. She also writes about how her cricket-obsessed husband suddenly started volunteering to take the kids to school – all in the hope of catching a glimpse of the star cricketer.