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Don’t have to worry about getting bowled anymore: Rahul Dravid

BANGALORE: Barely two weeks after bidding adieu to international cricket, Rahul Dravid now appears to be a relaxed man, with his mind away from the sport he played for a couple of decades. “It’s slowly sinking in. It’s a big relief in some ways. I don’t have to worry about getting bowled again,” said the legend, who was felicitated by Karnataka State Cricket Association here.

As praises and tributes continued to flow, Dravid said he was humbled. “I am touched and humbled by everything that has been written about me. What touched me with many of the tributes was that people had taken the trouble to think about it. They have not been casual. They have taken the time and effort and written some really nice things about me,” he said.

A centre-half for St Joseph’s Boys High School hockey team, Dravid excelled in both cricket and hockey but when the time came for him to make a choice, he chose his first love – cricket.

“I loved playing hockey. I was part of what was a very strong St. Joseph’s team. I played centre-half and right-half. I also made it to the State U-15 camp, but at the same time the U-15 cricket camp was also on. I had to make a decision but for me it wasn’t really a choice. Cricket was what I loved; hockey was just fun,” Dravid said, thanking his school principal Fr. Coelho, who played a vital role in his career. “He is a very important person in my life. He played an important role at a critical stage in my development as a cricketer. My parents were worried that I was missing classes, exams etc,” he recalled.

Recalling his first salary which he earned during his college days with Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club, he said, “I was on a stipend of Rs 1,000 from HASC, out of which 90 would get deducted towards my PF. The 910 rupees was a big thing for me because I was still in college. The money was used for my petrol and to take a friend for a coffee.”

An educated cricketer that he is, Dravid made an attempt to complete MBA but failed due to his commitments to cricket. “My mum’s very disappointed that I did not complete it. I don’t have the inclination anymore.”

Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh was one player that Rahul Dravid looked up to during his playing days. “I saw in Steve Waugh my roadmap to build my career. Steve appeared to relish the big occasion, seemed to thrive in such situations,” Dravid, who retired from international cricket recently said. “He is someone who valued his wicket.”

Expressing his gratitude for the men who shaped his cricketing career, Dravid recalled his first visit to the KSCA grounds as a 12-year-old boy. “I have great memories of the place. My father brought me to the ‘B’ ground – then called the matting wickets. It’s been a journey that has been a part of life for 27 years. There are so many people – it’s hard to thank everyone. All the people at KSCA – the office staff, groundsmen they all deserve my thanks. It is emotional coming here,” said Dravid.

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Posted by on Mar 23 2012. Filed under Cricket News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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