Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rahul Dravid's Retirement Finally Sinks In

Rahul Dravid - My Idol
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Today, when the Indian Test Team takes the field against New Zealand, one player who has been an important part of my growing up years, the person who I have idolized and worshipped since the past 16 years will not take the field today. Rahul Dravid will not be a part of the Indian Test Team anymore. This will be a very emotional moment for me as I am not used to seeing an Indian Test side without my Idol. Dravid had missed only 3 Tests in his entire career, 2 against South Africa in 2010 and 1 against Sri Lanka in 2005 due to injuries. He was a part of each and every Test Match India has played since his debut in 1996, apart from those 3 matches. So technically, today will indeed be the very first time I won’t be seeing Dravid take the field in a Test Match for India. It has been 5 Months and 2 Weeks since his retirement but the fact that he has retired will finally sink in when India goes out to bat today and the first wicket falls but Dravid will not walk into bat at No.3, that will be very difficult for me to watch. Today will be a very emotional day for every Dravid fan.

I remember when Dravid announced his retirement on 9th of March this year; I was going through the most devastating week of my life. I had to undergo an operation called “Core Decompression” on both my hips for my condition, Avascular Necrosis, due to which I was confined to a wheelchair for the next two months. The day when I got discharged, that is the day before his retirement, I had no clue about the announcement. When I checked my Facebook and Twitter; I could only see posts regarding Dravid’s impending retirement as he had called for a press meet the following day. I almost brushed it off as another rumor and didn’t believe it at first.

But Dravid had indeed called the press meet on March 9th and announced his retirement as gracefully as he has played Cricket his entire career. Even when I heard the words from his own mouth that he is retiring, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even cry for the next few hours. I had no tribute post ready as I was not prepared for his retirement. It took me a few hours to compose myself to write one final tribute post. It was also my first day getting used to moving around the house in a wheelchair, so it became equally difficult for me to write the post, physically as well as emotionally. I couldn’t sit on the wheelchair for long as my feet would swell nor could I sit on a bed and write the post as my back would give away. In-spite of all the obstacles, I decided to write one final tribute post for my Idol.

I am absolutely proud of this post as I wrote it in the most extreme circumstances, it is the most difficult post I ever had to write, and it incidentally is also my longest post. It took me well over 4 hours to finish the post as I had to take breaks at regular intervals to give my legs some rest. But eventually it did take a toll on me, sitting on a wheelchair for that long isn’t such a good idea, that too a day after getting discharged. After I finished my post, my feet had swollen. I had to listen to a mouthful from my mom for risking my own health while writing that post, even poor Dravid was not spared by my mom. But such is my passion; I had to write that post, I had put in everything into that post but it did hurt me when not many people actually read the entire post. The people who read it and commented on it, I am always thankful but it didn’t get the kind of readership I expected.

Anyways you can read the post here: My Idol Rahul Dravid Retires - A Nostalgic Tribute. Please do take some time out and read this post. It will make me very happy.


Laxman and Dravid during their epic partnership in the Kolkata Test - 2001
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Apart from Dravid, another legend VVS Laxman will also not take the field today for India. He was an absolute magician with the bat, a genius who was part of the famous quartet which also included Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Laxman made his Test debut a few months after Dravid and Ganguly made theirs, in 1996. He announced his retirement a few days ago despite being selected for the Two-Test series against New Zealand starting today. It is really unfortunate Laxman had to bid a tearful adieu to International Cricket as he was hurt by some of the comments made by former Cricketers in a few columns. As he didn’t want to be a burden to the team and wanted to give youngsters a chance, he gracefully quit from the game.

India had suffered two humiliating series defeats overseas against England and Australia respectively in the past year. We lost 8 consecutive Test Matches. It was our worst performance in over 30 years. Although Dravid was in outstanding form against England, scoring 3 centuries, even though we lost the series 4-0 but Laxman was in dreadful form, managed to score more than 50 only 3 times in eight Tests. In what turned out to be their final Test series against Australia in early 2012, both Dravid and Laxman had very dismal series; it was heartbreaking to see such legends bow out from the game in that fashion. But it takes nothing away from the fact that those two will always remain two of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game.

Dravid and Laxman bid tearful farewells to International Cricket. Two of the most well behaved Cricketers you would ever come across who epitomized “The Gentlemen’s Game” by being true gentlemen. It is an irreparable loss not just to Indian Cricket but to World Cricket. They will surely be missed. 

34 comments:

  1. Hi Akshay

    People retire, thats a fact. We need to be grateful that we lived in times when we could see all the action on our TV sets and you could write such lovely tributes on the internet. You know about my Cricket knowledge rt? If you remember the post on Gavaskar-Border trophy? :)
    And I know how your mom must have felt. Did she give you a whack for putting so much strain on your self to write that tribute? Any mom would have done that ha ha :) Take care buddy...I like Dravid too just the way gals go ...Awwwwww Draaaaaaavid! ha ha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jaish,

      Yes, people do retire but player like Rahul Dravid come once in a lifetime, I feel so privileged to have born in the same era as Rahul Dravid. There will be no one quite like him in future. Yes, I still do remember your Border-Gavaskar trophy post, very innocently hilarious. :D

      I got a mouthful and a whack from my mom, she had a very good reason to do so as well. :D But you know, my passion for Cricket and Dravid will always get the better of me. :) Thank you so much for your lovely comment. :)

      Delete
  2. Yes they have done India proud and now made way for others to do so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they have indeed. Dravid's replacement in the side, Cheteshwar Pujara has grabbed the opportunity with both hands by scoring a splendid century. Lets hope the youngsters take the legacy of legends like Dravid and Laxman forward.

      Delete
  3. everyone has to retire one day
    nice pics.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know I always wonder how can someone have so much of a passion. I think you are a wonderful person, you are loyal and you have unconditional love. Sure, both of them very the most well behaved and quality batsmen our generation has seen. But one thing which I don't liked was the mention of your surgery. Hope you are better now, though I know you are not perfectly healthy. I wish you have all the health and happiness in life, I will pray for you.

    And yes, our country has many talented players, you will have another star soon. Though they are irreplaceable but you know just to fill the gap.

    Take Care,
    Saru :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Saru, its always an honor and a privilege to get a comment from you. :) About the mention of my surgery, well I don't like to talk about it much either but it is something I have to live with. I have been living with the pain since the past one year, 6 months before surgery and 6 months after, even now. So I invariably end up thinking about it even if I don't want to. It hasn't stopped me from doing what I have to but it has slowed me down to a certain extent, mentally not physically. Thank you very much again for your prayers and well wishes, means so much to me. :)

      You too Take Care. :)

      Delete
    2. I know when you live with a medical conditions, it becomes a part of you. I don't somehow like those dreaded words attached to people who are close to me. :(

      Delete
    3. Very true. :( I know you have had your share of health issues too, I hope and pray you always stay healthy. :) Thank you dear. :)

      Delete
  5. Oh my god.. Any word in the literature will fall short to describe your love and respect that you have on your idol Akshay.. I can feel that every line you have written here has come out directly from your heart.. Despite of your your emotional and physical issues you have made it out to write a tribute to your idol makes you a hero.. I agree we have been lucky to have Rahul Dravid in our Indian Team but now I can also say that Rahul Dravid is lucky to have a devotee like u.:)

    Last time you had told me that you have not recovered completely yet.. Why is it taking so much of time Akshay??? What are the doctors up to?? I am desperately waiting to read a new post by you about your complete recovery when you will be able to run and also dance.. Please write it soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww Sonia, your comments bring me so much joy and happiness, thank you so very much, I am indebted. :) I just did what I had to at that point, I didn't feel like I am doing something drastic but on hindsight, it was probably not a very wise thing to do. So I am no hero dear, you are being too kind. :) And yes, we were privileged to have Dravid in our team and serve the country as he wonderfully did for over 16 years, I grew up watching him bat so its very difficult for a Dravid fanatic like me, not to watch him play anymore. But yes, we have to move on. :)

      On the health front, yeah the fight is still on, not fully recovered yet, but I am doing things that I have to do, so the pain can subside anytime it wants but that is not going to stop me. :) I am due for my Doctor's appointment sometime in October, hopefully by then the pain will completely subside. I will definitely write about it if and when I completely heal from my condition, probably dancing and running are out of the question at this point, but cycling is the way to go, so I will be cycling more often. :) Thank you so much again for your care and concern, means a lot to me. :)

      Delete
  6. I understand your emotions.
    For the first time I have not watch single session of test match and also one day series in Sri Lanka. All because of retirement of these 2 legends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you are a big Dravid fan as well, so thank you for understanding my emotions. :) Well, I love the game, so I couldn't not stay away from it for long but it will never be the same without Dravid. :(

      Delete
  7. A day will come when everybody has to retire. We should not feel sad. We should hope that his experience is somehow used for the administration and betterment of the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too. If Dravid is at the helm of BCCI, we can sure to expect great things for Indian Cricket in future. His vast experience will definitely come in handy. :)

      Delete
  8. I am in shock to read about your health. I had no idea. I always found you such a pleasing and happy person. There was no clue as to the physical pain you were going through or have gone through.

    I salute your spirit and wish you, best in life :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ghazala for your well wishes, very kind of you. :) Yes, health issues are always unexpected, when when you do get affected by it, you have no option but to fight it. I never let my health issues get the better of me. :)

      Delete
  9. Kudos Akshay for being so brave. I am sure, you'll recover completely soon...:) My wishes and prayers are with you...God bless!!
    Retirement is part of life...and that's part of life cycle...lovely post.
    Take care,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Ma'm for your kind words, really means a lot to me. :)
      Yes, definitely retirements are a part of life, I am slowly learning to move on with Dravid's retirement. :)

      Delete
  10. Akshay, going away of Rahul Dravid is just as they say, even if cliche, like passing away of an era. Yes, he was a part of my youth too. How can I forget him?

    I am expecting a copy of Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel

    I know you are also made of timeless steel, albeit malleable at the moment.
    Here is wishing Best of Luck to both of you for ever and ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sir for your wonderful words, as always. :) Yes, as cliched as it may sound, Dravid's retirement was indeed an end of an era. :(

      And I am sure you will love the book, its a must have for each and every Dravid fan and a Cricket fan in general. Thank you once again for your good wishes, means a lot to me. :)

      Delete
  11. The Stalwarts of Indian Cricket(Specially Test format) would always be remembered for their grace and style. It is Indeed a great loss the Indian Cricket Team!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed. Thank you so much for reading, Ash. :)

      Delete
  12. Akshay.. time and time again I am awed and amazed by your inner strength and spirit and the mental toughness and passion you possess. Your determination to write a dedication to your idol Rahul in the most testing of times is unbelievable. Your passion is indeed unmatched. I am really proud of you.

    As for Rahul.. I think he will be missed every time one thinks about Test Cricket. He is an embodiment of dedication, calmness and fortitude. His contribution to Indian cricket and cricket as a whole is unparalleled and he made the game a delight to the eyes. And VVS Lakshman is indeed another magician who worked in tandem with Rahul to create some of the most unbelievable and endearing moments of Indian cricket. Test cricket will not be the same without these two. As usual, a brilliant post and a heartfelt one too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raj, I can't be thankful enough for your beautiful and heartfelt comment. Speechless and humbled. :)

      Health issues keep cropping up but I have learned to fight them, I don't get bogged down by them, they can slow me down but can never stop me. :)

      As far Rahul, yes he will surely be missed, there can be no one quite like him. Cricket feels incomplete without him. I saw two tests against New Zealand recently where Dravid was not a part of the Indian team and it didn't just feel right and for me personally, it will never be. Dravid's retirement is an irreparable loss to World Cricket. But I am sure he will give back to the game in one way or another which has given him so much. He can be a perfect Administrator Indian Cricket needs at this point in time. :)

      Delete
  13. My Idol Rahul Dravid...Hero of Nation ...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great ambassador of Indian Cricket ...Rahul Dravid

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I like him a lot. I place him higher than Sachin in my list of greats. I said so in a post I wrote on Sachin's retirement.

    I moved all the cricket posts to leggielefty.wordpress.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They both mean so much to me, so it's hard for me to rate one higher than the other. Thanks for reading again, Ajesh. I will hop on to your Cricket blog soon. :)

      Delete

Please leave your precious comments here.