This was an announcement, which people knew would happen someday, but when it finally did, it only left millions heart-broken. Rahul Dravid, The Wall of Indian cricket, the magnificent batsman who has single-handedly steered the team to victory many a times, has finally announced his retirement from international and domestic first class cricket. No wonder his millions of fans and cricket lovers are sad and dejected at the announcement.
He completed his terrific 16-year international career after having scored the second-most runs in Tests and seventh-most in ODIs. However, the time he chose to bid adieu was not exactly right for the Indian team who are in a pitiful state right now.
Dravid made the formal announcement of retirement in a press conference on Friday noon at his home venue, Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium. In an era where the shell life of cricketers is very short, Dravid played till 39. The star cricketer had turned 39 in January this year.
“I was comfortable with what I had achieved. Deep down, I felt the time was right to move on and let the youngsters take over,” he said.
He announced his decision reading from a statement, with BCCI president N Srinivasan and former India captain and star bowler Anil Kumble sitting next to him. Dravid and Kumble happen to be from the same state. At the press conference were also present his wife Vijeta, and sons Samit and Anvay.
Rahul Dravid had a entered the Indian test side with a loud bang long back in 1996 along with another well-known cricketer Sourav Ganguly. However, during the time to depart, his final matches showed that even a cricketer like him had lost the finesse and probably the time had come when he had no other option but say goodbye. He made 194 runs in eight innings in Australia, passing fifty once and bowled six times, antithetical to the time when he seemed to have the broadest bat in the game.
So even though it is a sad news for his fans, it was a practical decision taken at a time when India lost eight Tests abroad and so the urgency to replace the older generation of cricketers who have not been able to perform persistently, was very much there.
The star cricketer in the press conference said that he needed a month to make up his mind as to where his career was heading to. And after a lot of thought he could come to this decision. “I was considering my options series by series. After Australia, thought about my options dispassionately,” he said of his decision.
“I didn’t make this decision based on one series (in Australia). It’s a combination of a lot of other things,” he said of his poor run in what turned out to be his final appearance for India.
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