If there is one player who has achieved everything in life but still remains unaffected by success it has to be Dravid. If there is one player who never believes in showing off like the kids and players of today’s generation do despite achieving twice and thrice than what they have, it has to be dravid. If there is one player whose conduct and discipline makes you wonder how can someone be so good? It has to be none other than dravid and if there is one player who has selflessly contributed towards nation’s sport without the greed of limelight doing his job behind the scenes effortlessly, it has to be Dravid.
Dravid probably has everything, wealth and fortune through his hard work and achievements, cricketing records which can make any player or a cricket lover go weak in the knees, looks and fitness which can still make him IPL’s probable alongwith power & authority in the field of cricket where he can easily dominate and influence anything. But still when you look at this humble Banglorean, you will feel like as if he is just another neighbor of yours.
Here are some of the reasons why he is the perfect role model for Youngsters around the world-
Best Technique and Cricketing Records-
A batting technique which has helped him face the toughest of spinners and the fast bowlers around the world past 20years. Highest level of concentration, patience, resilience and footwork which can make you wonder at times whether he is a human robot and his will to keep working hard and not stopping even after all the achievements makes him a man like no other in world cricket. International career spanning over 18years. 164 Tests, 344 ODI’s, over 23,000first class runs, over 24,000 international runs, 137 centuries (First class, List A and International Combined), 375 half centuries, most number of catches in Tests at slips(210), his hands one of the safest pairs in the world, a participant in highest ever test and one day partnerships, only one to feature in 300+runs ODI partnerships thrice, a participant in most number of 200+ and 300+ stands in Indian Cricket in Tests. India’s Padma Bhushan, Sir Garfield Sobers all time greats awardee, Wisden’s best cricketer, awarded a place in Don Bradman’s playing XI, several times ranked ICC no.1 test batsman in the world and throughout his career being in the top ICC Top 10….
we can just keep raving about him and such is the stature he has but still when you are standing besides him, you will come across one of the most simple, grounded and a humble human being who is least affected or worried about the fame, name and money but is the most worried when it comes to his nation’s pride.
Nation over money
Once he returned an award by ICC statingthat he doesn’t deserve it, before that he returned a doctorate degree by a renowned institute saying he will earn rather than have it easily as many other people deserve this degree and they should get one instead was his reply. Dravid also could have easily played county cricket after retirement or coached any national level or IPL team and could have made truckloads of money but rather he chose to become India’s under 19 coach. When asked he said he wanted to develop a strong grass root and base for Indian Cricket. He came and instilled the importance of playing for the Nation amongst young boys and eventually India Under-19 came back home winning the world cup under him.
Throughout his career, teams have sledged and abused, fast bowlers tried their best to sledge and irritate him and break his concentration but never once has he retaliated in the same way to the opposition bowlers or teams. Rahul’s real spirit on the ground can never be replaced by any other Indian cricketer. Never sledging back, never getting overly aggressive, keeping his calm, greeting all the players from opposition, appreciating their landmarks, guiding the youngsters and taking the responsibility when the team is down. Just recently former India fast bowler RP Singh tweeted “during our world cup days when our team was losing against minnows, Dravid came to the press conference and took the onus on himself stating it was his fault and his intervention with the youngsters was required at that time”. RP further stated in his twitter account after India winning the Under 19 world cup a few days ago “Moment of the day was when Rahul Dravid said ‘I’m embarrassed to get so much of credit’, He will always take blame for failures, but give credit to the team for success. Today as well, being the coach of world champion team, he quietly walks behind the shadow of the team” which talks a lot about his sportsman spirit.
Army level Discipline
In his active cricketing career, we always got to see a fit Dravid. A lean athletic body, excellent running between the wickets, adhering to the ICC cricket rules of law on the ground, proper sophisticated conduct with the press media as well as with the opponents when on the field. Every morning doing his drills on the ground, practicing rigorously in the nets while also working out accurately over his body fitness where he was hardly been injured only once or twice for a short period of time his 20year long career.
Humble & Grounded
Never in his life will you ever witness Dravid partying till late night or hear news about him splurging money over luxuries which he easily can at the tip of his finger. Neither will you ever see him in IPL post match parties and other functions. More than that even in his busy schedule he responds and reverts back to almost everyone he can. In one such instance amongst many- One fan had a last wish to see Dravid, dravid who could not make it personally ensured that a video conference was arranged with the ill patient inside the ICU room where the fan was spending his last moments. A simple guy with simple clothes living with his small happy family without extravagant lifestyle.
Believes in Justice
As a captain, as a coach, as an administrator and even as a human being Dravid always believes in giving opportunities to all. Young players have thrived under him only because of that reason. At one side where the money centric Shastri who is paid 10 to 12crores a year is still asking for more pay for coaches, sub coaches and International Cricketers even after getting paid so much, Dravid on the other hand requested BCCI for an equal pay rather than more pay to the entire cricketing staff involved and not just the players or the coaches as everyone puts hard work and efforts in their capacity. Dravid also recently questioned the 50lakh bonus which was given to him after U-19 Indian team won the World Cup stating he alone was not responsible for the win, it was the whole team and staff along with him who were responsible for this feat. It just shows the difference between two human beings while also shows how fair and just he is.
Believes in Hard work
Success is achieved by practicing and not by yielding powers or lobbying in Indian Cricket. Throughout his career he has never missed pre-match net sessions, practice matches, warm-ups, core-training on the field and in the gym. Dravid always knew the only ingredient to long lasting success is hard work and fortunately he is instilling the same quality in the youngsters too as a coach and mentor.
The way Dravid speaks with the media in press conferences is a lesson to learn for many aspiring sportsmen. Politically correct, non expressive yet to the point without being offensive is a quality which he has mastered over the time. Also he has never been embroiled in any cricketing controversies like on-field spats, ball tampering, verbal abuse, heated fights, post match wild parties, late night brawls, match fixing or yielding influence or lobbying despite the fact that he is amongst the most respected & powerful entity in Indian Cricket.
Dedication & Passion for Country’s Pride
After one of the losses in the Under 19 World Cup, Dravid called the entire Indian squad to the dressing room and addressed all the players to keep everything from their mobiles, ipads, laptops, speakers aside till the series gets over. Dravid explained that unnecessary media glory on print and social media, calls from parents and others will distract the focus and dedication at which we need to play. Focus on winning games for India, practice hard, work over your fitness, enjoy the drills and wake up early with me was his quick short order he gave to the boys when India lost one of the matches in the World Cup. This is just one amongst the many examples.
Dravid is not just a role model for cricketers and especially young cricketers but people from any field or any sport can imbibe the qualities he has.
Editor Haineel Shah