Former Indian Cricket Team Captain Rahul Dravid was inducted in the International Cricket of Council (ICC) Hall of Fame, on Sunday. Rahul Dravid was inducted in the club of elite cricketers along with the two time World Cup winning Australian captain Ricky Ponting and 2009 ICC Women’s cricketer of the year Claire Taylor. The three were inducted in the elite club in an event held in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday night. Rahul Dravid’s induction in the Hall of Fame of ICC has come after 2 years of Anil Kumble’s induction in 2015. Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble are the other Indian cricketers who had been inducted earlier in the prestigious club. Incidentally, Sachin Tendulkar does not feature in the illustrious list of Indian cricketers who have been inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame. The reason behind this is an ICC rule which states that only those players who have not played international cricket in the last five years can be inducted in the Hall of Fame.The prestigious Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from the long and illustrious history of cricket. Dravid’s induction in the club is recognition of the immense hard work of ‘The Wall’ towards Indian cricket and cricket in general.
ICC chief executive David Richardson spoke about the award and its importance at the start of the event. He said, “the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame is our way of honouring the greats of our game.” He further added, “Only the very best players in the world are recognised for their contribution to cricket in this way and I would like to congratulate Rahul, Ricky and Claire who are wonderful additions to the list of cricketing luminaries in the Hall of Fame.”
Rahul Dravid was not available at the venue because of his commitments with the India A team. His acceptance speech read, “It is a matter of great honour to be named by the ICC in the Cricket Hall of Fame. To find your name in a list of all-time greats across generations is something one only dreams of while setting out on a cricket career and the kind of recognition that would delight any player.”
Rahul Sharad Dravid began his international career in 1996 after making consistent performances from his domestic Karnataka team at the national level. In a career spanning across 17 years, Dravid played an astounding 164 tests and 344 ODIs, scoring 13,288 and 10,889 in both the formats respectively. His batting average in tests stands at an amazing 52.31 percent which is further proof the way in which he approached the game. Soon after his debut, he took the role of anchor in the Indian batting side, a demanding role indeed. By the time he retired, he held the record for facing most number of balls and for having spent 44,152 minutes at the crease which again is the longest for any batsman in test cricket. The batting legend holds the unique record of being the only batsman to score centuries in all Test-playing countries.
The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan award winner has been recognised countless times in the past too both in India and abroad for his contribution to the game. From winning the Arjuna Award in 1998, Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000, to being crowned the captain of the ICC’s Test Team in 2006 and sharing the Don Bradman Award with Glenn McGrath in 2012, Dravid has had it all. He was also crowned as Wisden’s Highest Impact Test Batsman of all times in 2015 and became the only non-Australian to be invited to deliver a speech at the 2011 Don Bradman Oration. His contribution to the game continues even after his retirement as a player, the biggest moment for his post-retirement career would be when the Indian U-19 team won the U-19 World Cup earlier under his coaching. Dravid is also the coach for the India A team and is honing the future generation of cricketers for the country. Dravid’s journey can be best summed up in the words of the great cricket commentator, “When I am done with my profession. I wish I could go with the reputation that Rahul Dravid earned.” Take a bow Jammy.