Winning CLT20 would have been fairytale ending to career: Dravid
After the Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians CLT20 final which concluded recently, Rahul Dravid has been referred to as a 'former cricketer'.
'The Wall', who graced the Indian team for most part of his career, and later as skipper of Rajasthan Royals, shared his T20 farewell with Sachin Tendulkar, who will only be seen in Test cricket from now on.
Unlike Tendulkar though, Dravid is ready to move on from cricket, saying that remaining only in the IPL for a couple of years was a way of experiencing the other side of life — while coming back to the game for the Royals.
"Even though I quit international cricket, I had it in the back of my mind that there is the IPL. Yes I didn't train enough if compared to when I was an Indian cricketer, but you knew that you had to perform as a cricketer (because of the IPL). IPL was a way of experiencing a different routine outside of cricket and now I'm ready to move on," he told CNN-IBN in an excusive interview.
Dravid was given a guard of honour at the start of the match and at the end of his innings and even though he doesn't like too much fuss about an occasion, he is grateful for all the respect and love he received during his time with the Royals.
"I was touched, extremely grateful for everything cricket has given me. I'm grateful to the team for getting me this far and into the final... couldn't have asked for anything more.
Dravid also mentioned the happiness of going back to grounds with the IPL team where he played so much international cricket. He also acknowledged the fact that sharing the final moments of his career with Sachin Tendulkar was quite something.
"Both me and Sachin were trying to win a game of cricket but at the background yes, there was an occasion to it and it was nice to share a moment with Sachin, with whom I've shared so much."
Dravid said that winning the CLT20 would have been a fairytale finish, but at the same time Rajasthan had a lot to be happy about — where they have come as a team and what they have achieved: "We're a very different team from the Mumbai Indians. I think they've got 10 currently international players and we've got three. It's a completely different formula and way of building a team. It's great to see years of planning come together like this."
Dravid's most endearing legacy in T20 will remain the faith he showed in players who, in his words, have otherwise been 'undervalued' or 'underutilised', but he maintains that Rajasthan Royals is not a place where anyone can make a name — there is a prerequisite and it's called 'skill'.
"Skill is the only criteria. We're not doing any charity here. If they have the skill, then you'll get a chance. I saw Sanju Samson at the trials play three balls and said wow... for an 18-year-old, this kid is something. We tested Pravin Tambe and he stood up to them. We needed a leg-spinner and he impressed us the most and we played him."
Samson and Tambe, at contrasting points in their career, did exceptionally well for the Royals in the CLT20. Dravid also promoted Samson to No 3 while chasing a target of 203 runs, and he responded by scoring 60 in just 33 balls.
Dravid also opened up about the spot-fixing scandal, something in which three Rajasthan Royals players have been embroiled in. "I never thought I wanted to quit during spot-fixing scandal. You just seem to think... what is happening? I've spent a lot of time and energy after Sreesanth. We've tried our best to help him. What hurt most was that it was internal... you feel that maybe you could have done more. But then there are other players who look up to you for guidance and that becomes your motivation."
Dravid added that he was looking forward to spending time at home and doing some media work, while also contemplating working with young cricketers.
You can watch the full interview in the video above.
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