If cricket is a gentleman’s game, then Rahul Dravid is that gentleman.
First things first, I am a die hard Dravid fan. I have done it all. Followed him, made scrap books, gone alone in the Eden Gardens to watch him, and even woke up at 5 to see him batting in Australia.
Why did I do all these? Why do I love him so much?
Because there are some great souls and he is certainly one of them. Any new adjective I use to describe him would end up being another adjective. His greatness is way beyond any adjective which can be used to describe him.
These 12 stories will give you an idea about his personality off the field.
1. As per the contract, he was supposed to hand out signed bats to underprivileged kids. But what he did was something amazing.
He decided to give the kids a good time. He joined the kids for a short game. At the end, he told, ‘Play cricket to enjoy the game. Study hard when you’re in school and have fun while playing cricket.’
2. Although he pulls people’s legs in front of the camera, but he cares for other sports fans.
In a shoot with Sanjay Manjrekar in the City of Joy, Sanjay said something that pulled on Sourav Ganguly’s leg with a slightly immature sporting comment. Rahul laughed and asked for a retake saying, ‘I don’t want people in Kolkata offended. Skip that Sanjay.’
3. A complete family man: Arrived in the afternoon for a series preview after spending time with family.
Everyone is. But he was asked to do a series preview in Bangalore, but he arrived in the afternoon. When asked why he arrived late, he replied, ‘Actually it’s my kids man. I like picking them up. So the younger one gets done at 1 and the older one gets done later on. So I like picking them both up whenever I’m in town and spend some time with them.’
4. He is mentoring India’s future Olympians and Paralympians as part of the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme.
Sharath Gayakwad was in a dilemma on whether to retire from swimming. Dravid gave examples from his life on how he dealt with pressure and he went on to win 6 medals (1 silver and 5 bronze medals) at the 2014 Asian Games.
5. A young RD fan, suffering from cancer, wanted to meet him. His wish was fulfilled.
Dravid went on to Skype with the fan for more than an hour and apologised for not being able to be there personally.
6. Refused politely to coach Indian cricket team stating family commitments.
When he was asked to coach Indian National Cricket Team, he declined politely.
7. He was ready to coach the National ‘A’ Team and the Under-19 squad.
The younger team became his priority over his family. He knew there are many people to take care of the senior team. But it is the younger team which needs more attention.
8. The Wall knows there is no end to improving.
Vijeeta Dravid once upon a time said this on Rahul, ‘He believes you cannot complain about anything because there is no end to complaining. And he knows there is no end to improving either.’
9. A letter to Kevin Pietersen on how to play spin when Kevin was struggling to play the spinners.
This is the letter in which he explains on how to tackle spin. No wonder cricket fans across the world have such huge respect for Jammy.
10. When the world was busy with ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, he was busy with ‘Blood Donating Challenge’.
Rahul Dravid Donated Blood to Needy Patients in Bangalore today. pic.twitter.com/ygkwdiV2Ua
— Cricmates (@Cricmates) August 27, 2014
He was donating blood to the needy patients in Bangalore during that time. He never dragged media attention for money, fame, position or anything else.
11. He has been seen travelling in public transport many times.
He maintains a very simple lifestyle. Never ever did he favour the lavish way of living which is still followed by other sportsmen around the globe.
12. His childhood club needed a victory in order to not get relegated to a lower division.
The head coach of the team requested him to play. He agreed, played the match, scored a century and won the match for them. The venue was HAL sports club with around 20 spectators. And all this happened after his retirement. He never made any fuss about playing for a team that is so out of his league.
Being a Rahul Dravid fan is not easy.
Let me conclude this article with my favourite quote on Rahul Dravid.
“If you can’t get along with Dravid, you are struggling in life.” ~ Brett Lee
No more words, Rahul. ?