The Bradman Oration 2011

'Three formats cannot be played in equal numbers'

Rahul Dravid's speech at the Bradman Oration in Canberra, in which he covered issues from flaws in cricket scheduling to the need for cricketers to be more transparent

December 14, 2011

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Thank you for inviting me to deliver the Bradman Oration; the respect and the regard that came with the invitation to speak tonight, is deeply appreciated.

I realise a very distinguished list of gentlemen have preceded me in the ten years that the Bradman Oration has been held. I know that this Oration is held every year to appreciate the life and career of Sir Don Bradman, a great Australian and a great cricketer. I understand that I am supposed to speak about cricket and issues in the game - and I will.

Yet, but first before all else, I must say that I find myself humbled by the venue we find ourselves in. Even though there is neither a pitch in sight, nor stumps or bat and balls, as a cricketer, I feel I stand on very sacred ground tonight. When I was told that I would be speaking at the National War Memorial, I thought of how often and how meaninglessly, the words 'war', 'battle', 'fight' are used to describe cricket matches.

Yes, we cricketers devote the better part of our adult lives to being prepared to perform for our countries, to persist and compete as intensely as we can - and more. This building, however, recognises the men and women who lived out the words - war, battle, fight - for real and then gave it all up for their country, their lives left incomplete, futures extinguished.

The people of both our countries are often told that cricket is the one thing that brings Indians and Australians together. That cricket is our single common denominator.

India's first Test series as a free country was played against Australia in November 1947, three months after our independence. Yet the histories of our countries are linked together far more deeply than we think and further back in time than 1947.

We share something else other than cricket. Before they played the first Test match against each other, Indians and Australians fought wars together, on the same side. In Gallipoli, where, along with the thousands of Australians, over 1300 Indians also lost their lives. In World War II, there were Indian and Australian soldiers in El Alamein, North Africa, in the Syria-Lebanon campaign, in Burma, in the battle for Singapore.

Before we were competitors, Indians and Australians were comrades. So it is only appropriate that we are here this evening at the Australian War Memorial, where along with celebrating cricket and cricketers, we remember the unknown soldiers of both nations.

It is however, incongruous, that I, an Indian, happen to be the first cricketer from outside Australia, invited to deliver the the Bradman Oration. I don't say that only because Sir Don once scored a hundred before lunch at Lord's and my 100 at Lord's this year took almost an entire day.

But more seriously, Sir Don played just five Tests against India; that was in the first India-Australia series in 1947-48, which was to be his last season at home. He didn't even play in India, and remains the most venerated cricketer in India not to have played there.

We know that he set foot in India though, in May 1953, when on his way to England to report on the Ashes for an English newspaper, his plane stopped in Calcutta airport. There were said to be close to a 1000 people waiting to greet him; as you know, he was a very private person and so got into an army jeep and rushed into a barricaded building, annoyed with the airline for having 'breached confidentiality.' That was all Indians of the time saw of Bradman who remains a mythical figure.

For one generation of fans in my country, those who grew up in the 1930s, when India was still under British rule, Bradman represented a cricketing excellence that belonged to somewhere outside England. To a country taking its first steps in Test cricket, that meant something. His success against England at that time was thought of as our personal success. He was striking one for all of us ruled by the common enemy. Or as your country has so poetically called them, the Poms.

There are two stories that I thought I should bring to your notice. On June 28, 1930, the day Bradman scored 254 at Lord's against England, was also the day Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested by the police. Nehru was, at the time, one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement and later, independent India's first Prime Minister. The coincidence of the two events, was noted by a young boy KN Prabhu, who was both nationalist, cricket fan and later became independent India's foremost cricket writer. In the 30s, as Nehru went in and out of jail, Bradman went after the England bowling and, for KN Prabhu, became a kind of avenging angel.

There's another story I've heard about the day in 1933, when the news reached India that Bradman's record for the highest Test score of 334 had been broken by Wally Hammond. As much as we love our records, they say some Indian fans at the time were not exactly happy. Now, there's a tale that a few even wanted to wear black bands to mourn the fact that this precious record that belonged to Australia - and by extension, us - had gone back. To an Englishman. We will never know if this is true, if black bands were ever worn, but as journalists sometimes tell me, why let facts get in the way of a good story.

My own link with Bradman was much like that of most other Indians - through history books, some old video footage and his wise words. About leaving the game better than you found it. About playing it positively, as Bradman, then a selector, told Richie Benaud before the 1960-61 West Indies tour of Australia. Of sending a right message out from cricket to its public. Of players being temporary trustees of a great game.

While there may be very little similarity in our records or our strike-rates or our fielding - and I can say this only today in front of all of you - I am actually pleased that I share something very important with Sir Don.

He was, primarily, like me, a No.3 batsman. It is a tough, tough job.

We're the ones who make life easier for the kings of batting, the middle order that follows us. Bradman did that with a bit more success and style than I did. He dominated bowling attacks and put bums on seats, if i bat for any length of time I am more likely to bore people to sleep. Still, it is nice to have batted for a long time in a position, whose benchmark is, in fact, the benchmark for batsmanship itself.

Before he retired from public life in his 80s, I do know that Bradman watched Sunil Gavaskar's generation play a series in Australia. I remember the excitement that went through Indian cricket when we heard the news that Bradman had seen Sachin Tendulkar bat on TV and thought he batted like him. It was more than mere approval, it was as if the great Don had finally, passed on his torch. Not to an Aussie or an Englishman or a West Indian. But to one of our own.

One of the things, Bradman said has stayed in my mind. That the finest of athletes had, along with skill, a few more essential qualities: to conduct their life with dignity, with integrity, with courage and modesty. All this he believed, were totally compatible with pride, ambition, determination and competitiveness. Maybe those words should be put up in cricket dressing rooms all over the world.

As all of you know, Don Bradman passed away on February 25, 2001, two days before the India v Australia series was to begin in Mumbai.

Whenever an important figure in cricket leaves us, cricket's global community pauses in the midst of contests and debates, to remember what he represented of us, what he stood for, and Bradman was the pinnacle. The standard against which all Test batsmen must take guard.

The series that followed two days after Bradman's death later went on to become what many believe was one of the greatest in cricket. It is a series, I'd like to believe, he would have enjoyed following.

A fierce contest between bat and ball went down to the final session of the final day of the final Test. Between an Australian team who had risen to their most imposing powers and a young Indian team determined to rewrite some chapters of its own history.

The 2001 series contained high-quality cricket from both sides and had a deep impact on the careers of those who played a part in it. The Australians were near unbeatable in the first half of the new decade, both home and away. As others floundered against them, India became the only team that competed with them on even terms.

India kept answering questions put to them by the Australians and asking a few themselves. The quality demanded of those contests, sometimes acrimonious, sometimes uplifting, made us, the Indian team, grow and rise. As individuals, we were asked to play to the absolute outer limits of our capabilities and we often extended them.

Now, whenever India and Australia meet, there is expectation and anticipation - and as we get into the next two months of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, players on both sides will want to deliver their best.

When we toured in 2007-08, I thought it was going to be my last tour of Australia. The Australians thought it was going to be the last time they would be seeing Sachin Tendulkar on their shores. He received warm standing ovations from wonderful crowds all around the country.

Well, like a few, creaking Terminators, we're back. Older, wiser and I hope improved.

The Australian public will want to stand up to send Sachin off all over again this time. But I must warn you, given how he's been playing these days, there are no guarantees about final goodbyes.

In all seriousness, though, the cricket world is going to stop and watch Australia and India. It is Australia's first chance to defend their supremacy at home following defeat in the 2010 Ashes and a drawn series against New Zealand. It is India's opportunity to prove that the defeat to England in the summer was an aberration that we will bounce back from.

If both teams look back to their last 2007-08 series in Australia, they will know that they should have done things a little differently in the Sydney Test. But I think both sides have moved on from there; we've played each other twice in India already and relations between the two teams are much better than they have been as far as I can remember.

Thanks to the IPL, Indians and Australians have even shared dressing rooms. Shane Watson's involvement in Rajasthan, Mike Hussey's role with Chennai to mention a few, are greatly appreciated back home. And even Shane Warne likes India now. I really enjoyed playing alongside him at Rajasthan last season and can confidently report to you that he is not eating imported baked beans any more.

In fact, looking at him, it seems, he is not eating anything.

It is often said that cricketers are ambassadors for their country; when there's a match to be won, sometimes we think that is an unreasonable demand. After all, what would career diplomats do if the result of a Test series depended on them, say, walking? But, as ties between India and Australia have strengthened and our contests have become more frequent, we realise that as Indian players, we stand for a vast, varied, often unfathomable and endlessly fascinating country.

At the moment, to much of the outside world, Indian cricket represents only two things - money and power. Yes, that aspect of Indian cricket is a part of the whole, but it is not the complete picture. As a player, as a proud and privileged member of the Indian cricket team, I want to say that, this one-dimensional, often cliched image relentlessly repeated is not what Indian cricket is really all about.

I cannot take all of you into the towns and villages our players come from, and introduce you to their families, teachers, coaches, mentors and team-mates who made them international cricketers. I cannot take all of you here to India to show you the belief, struggle, effort and sacrifice from hundreds of people that runs through our game.

As I stand here today, it is important for me to bring Indian cricket and its own remarkable story to you. I believe it is very necessary that cricketing nations try to find out about each other, try to understand each other and the different role cricket plays in different countries, because ours is, eventually, a very small world.

In India, cricket is a buzzing, humming, living entity going through a most remarkable time, like no other in our cricketing history. In this last decade, the Indian team represents more than ever before, the country we come from - of people from vastly different cultures, who speak different languages, follow different religions, belong to all classes of society. I went around our dressing room to work out how many languages could be spoken in there and the number I have arrived at is: 15, including Shona and Afrikaans.

Most foreign captains, I think, would baulk at the idea. But, when I led India, I enjoyed it, I marvelled at the range of difference and the ability of people from so many different backgrounds to share a dressing room, to accept, accommodate and respect that difference. In a world growing more insular, that is a precious quality to acquire, because it stays for life and helps you understand people better, understand the significance of the other.

Let me tell you one of my favourite stories from my Under-19 days, when the India Under-19 team played a match against the New Zealand junior team. We had two bowlers in the team, one from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh - he spoke only Hindi, which is usually a link language for players from all over India, ahead even of English. It should have been all right, except the other bowler came from Kerala, in the deep south, and he spoke only the state's regional language, Malayalam. Now even that should have been okay as they were both bowlers and could bowl simultaneous spells.

Yet in one game, they happened to come together at the crease. In the dressing room, we were in splits, wondering how they were going to manage the business of a partnership, calling for runs or sharing the strike. Neither man could understand a word of what the other was saying and they were batting together. This could only happen in Indian cricket. Except that these two guys came up with a 100-run partnership. Their common language was cricket and that worked out just fine.

The everyday richness of Indian cricket lies right there, not in the news you hear about million-dollar deals and television rights. When I look back over the 25 years I've spent in cricket, I realise two things. First, rather alarmingly, that I am the oldest man in the game, older to even Sachin by three months. More importantly, I realise that Indian cricket actually reflects our country's own growth story during this time. Cricket is so much a part of our national fabric that as India - its economy, society and popular culture - transformed itself, so did our most-loved sport.

As players we are appreciative beneficiaries of the financial strength of Indian cricket, but we are more than just mascots of that economic power. The caricature often made of Indian cricket and its cricketers in the rest of the world is that we are pampered superstars. Overpaid, underworked, treated like a cross between royalty and rock stars.

Yes, the Indian team has an enormous, emotional following and we do need security when we get around the country as a group. It is also why we make it a point to always try and conduct ourselves with composure and dignity. On tour, I must point out, we don't attack fans or do drugs or get into drunken theatrics. And at home, despite what some of you may have heard, we don't live in mansions with swimming pools.

The news about the money may well overpower all else, but along with it, our cricket is full of stories the outside world does not see. Television rights generated around Indian cricket, are much talked about. Let me tell you what the television - around those much sought-after rights - has done to our game.

A sport that was largely played and patronised by princes and businessmen in traditional urban centres, cities like Bombay, Bangalore, Chennai, Baroda, Hyderabad, Delhi - has begun to pull in cricketers from everywhere.

As the earnings from Indian cricket have grown in the past 2 decades, mainly through television, the BCCI has spread revenues to various pockets in the country and improved where we play. The field is now spread wider than it ever has been, the ground covered by Indian cricket, has shifted.

Twenty seven teams compete in our national championship, the Ranji Trophy. Last season Rajasthan, a state best known for its palaces, fortresses and tourism won the Ranji Trophy title for the first time in its history. The national one-day championship also had a first-time winner in the newly formed state of Jharkand, where our captain MS Dhoni comes from.

The growth and scale of cricket on our television was the engine of this population shift. Like Bradman was the boy from Bowral, a stream of Indian cricketers now come from what you could call India's outback.

Zaheer Khan belongs to the Maharashtra heartland, from a town that didn't have even one proper turf wicket. He could have been an instrumentation engineer but was drawn to cricket through TV and modelled his bowling by practising in front of the mirror on his cupboard at home, and first bowled with a proper cricket ball at the age of 17.

One day out of nowhere, a boy from a village in Gujarat turned up as India's fastest bowler. After Munaf Patel made his debut for India, the road from the nearest railway station to his village had to be improved because journalists and TV crews from the cities kept landing up there.

We are delighted that Umesh Yadav didn't become a policeman like he was planning and turned to cricket instead. He is the first cricketer from the central Indian first-class team of Vidarbha to play Test cricket.

Virender Sehwag, it shouldn't surprise you, belongs to the wild west just outside Delhi. He had to be enrolled in a college which had a good cricket programme and travelled 84kms every day by bus to get to practice and matches.

Every player in this room wearing an India blazer has a story like this. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the heart and soul of Indian cricket.

Playing for India completely changes our lives. The game has given us a chance to pay back our debt to all those who gave their time, energy and resources for us to be better cricketers: we can build new homes for our parents, get our siblings married off in style, give our families very comfortable lives.

The Indian cricket team is in fact, India itself, in microcosm. A sport that was played first by princes, then their subordinates, then the urban elite, is now a sport played by all of India. Cricket, as my two under-19 team-mates proved, is India's most widely-spoken language. Even Indian cinema has its regional favourites; a movie star in the south may not be popular in the north. But a cricketer? Loved everywhere.

It is also a very tough environment to grow up in - criticism can be severe, responses to victory and defeat extreme. There are invasions of privacy and stones have been thrown at our homes after some defeats.

It takes time getting used to, extreme reactions can fill us with anger. But every cricketer realises at some stage of his career, that the Indian cricket fan is best understood by remembering the sentiment of the majority, not the actions of a minority.

One of the things that has always lifted me as a player is looking out of the team bus when we travelled somewhere in India. When people see the Indian bus going by, see some of us sitting with our curtains drawn back, it always amazes me how much they light up. There is an instantaneous smile, directed not just at the player they see - but at the game we play that, for whatever reason, means something to people's lives. Win or lose, the man on the street will smile and give you a wave.

After India won the World Cup this year, our players were not congratulated as much as they were thanked by people they ran into. "You have given us everything," they were told, "all of us have won." Cricket in India now stands not just for sport, but possibility, hope, opportunities.

On our way to the Indian team, we know of so many of our team-mates, some of whom may have been equally or more talented than those sitting here, who missed out. When I started out, for a young Indian, cricket was the ultimate gamble - all or nothing, no safety nets. No second chances for those without an education or a college degree or second careers. Indian cricket's wealth now means a wider pool of well paid cricketers even at first-class level.

For those of us who make it to the Indian team, cricket is not merely our livelihood, it is a gift we have been given. Without the game, we would just be average people leading average lives. As Indian cricketers, our sport has given us the chance do something worthwhile with our lives. How many people could say that?

This is the time Indian cricket should be flowering; we are the world champions in the short game, and over the space of the next 12 months should be involved in a tight contest with Australia, South Africa and England to determine which one of us is the world's strongest Test team.

Yet I believe this is also a time for introspection within our game, not only in india, but all over the world. We have been given some alerts and responding to them quickly is the smart thing to do.

I was surprised a few months ago to see the lack of crowds in an ODI series featuring India. By that I don't mean the lack of full houses, I think it was the sight of empty stands I found somewhat alarming.

India played its first one-day international at home in November 1981, when I was nine. Between then and now India have played 227 ODIs at home; the October five-match series against England was the first time that the grounds have not been full for an ODI featuring the Indian team.

In the summer of 1998, I played in a one-dayer against Kenya in Kolkata and the Eden Gardens was full. Our next game was held in the 48-degree heat of Gwalior and the stands were heaving.

The October series against England was the first one at home after India's World Cup win. It was called the 'revenge' series meant to wipe away the memory of a forgettable tour of England. India kept winning every game, and yet the stands did not fill up. Five days after a 5-0 victory 95,000 turned up to watch the India's first Formula One race.

A few weeks later I played in a Test match against West Indies in Calcutta, in front of what was the lowest turn out in Eden Gardens' history. Yes we still wanted to win and our intensity did not dip. But at the end of the day, we are performers, entertainers and we love an audience. The audience amplifies everything you are doing, the bigger the crowd the bigger the occasion, its magnitude, its emotion. When I think about the Eden Gardens crowds this year, I wonder what the famous Calcutta Test of 2001 would have felt like with 50,000 people less watching us.

Australia and South Africa played an exciting and thrilling Test series recently and two great Test matches produced some fantastic performances from players of both teams, but were sadly played in front of sparse crowds.

It is not the numbers that Test players need, it is the atmosphere of a Test that every player wants to revel in and draw energy from. My first reaction to the lack of crowds for cricket was that there had been a lot of cricket and so perhaps, a certain amount of spectator-fatigue. That is too simplistic a view; it's the easy thing to say but might not be the only thing.

The India v England ODI series had no context, because the two countries had played each other in four Tests and five ODIs just a few weeks before. When India and West Indies played ODIs a month after that the grounds were full, but this time the matches were played in smaller venues that didn't host too much international cricket. Maybe our clues are all there and we must remain vigilant.

Unlike Australia or England, Indian cricket has never had to compete with other sports for a share of revenues, mind space or crowd attendance at international matches. The lack of crowds may not directly impact on revenues or how important the sport is to Indians, but we do need to accept that there has definitely been a change in temperature over, I think, the last two years.

Whatever the reasons are - maybe it is too much cricket or too little by way of comfort for spectators - the fan has sent us a message and we must listen. This is not mere sentimentality. Empty stands do not make for good television. Bad television can lead to a fall in ratings, the fall in ratings will be felt by media planners and advertisers looking elsewhere.

If that happens, it is hard to see television rights around cricket being as sought after as they have always been in the last 15 years. And where does that leave everyone? I'm not trying to be an economist or doomsday prophet - this is just how I see it.

Let us not be so satisfied with the present, with deals and finances in hand that we get blindsided. Everything that has given cricket its power and influence in the world of sports has started from that fan in the stadium. They deserve our respect and let us not take them for granted. Disrespecting fans is disrespecting the game. The fans have stood by our game through everything. When we play, we need to think of them. As players, the balance between competitiveness and fairness can be tough but it must be found.

If we stand up for the game's basic decencies, it will be far easier to tackle its bigger dangers - whether it is finding short cuts to easy money or being lured by the scourge of spot-fixing and contemplating any involvement with the betting industry.

Cricket's financial success means it will face threats from outside the game and keep facing them. The last two decades have proved this over and over again. The internet and modern technology may just end up being a step ahead of every anti-corruption regulation in place in the game. As players, the one way we can stay ahead for the game, is if we are willing to be monitored and regulated closely.

Even if it means giving up a little bit of freedom of movement and privacy. If it means undergoing dope tests, let us never say no. If it means undergoing lie-detector tests, let us understand the technology, what purpose it serves and accept it. Now lie-detectors are by no means perfect but they could actually help the innocent clear their names. Similarly, we should not object to having our finances scrutinised if that is what is required.

When the first anti-corruption measures were put into place, we did moan a little bit about being accredited and depositing our cell phones with the manager. But now we must treat it like we do airport security because we know it is for our own good and our own security.

Players should be ready to give up a little personal space and personal comfort for this game, which has given us so much. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

Other sports have borrowed from cricket's anti-corruption measures to set up their own ethical governance programmes and we must take pride in belonging to a sport that is professional and progressive.

One of the biggest challenges that the game must respond to today, I believe, is charting out a clear road map for the three formats. We now realise that the sport's three formats cannot be played in equal numbers - that will only throw scheduling and the true development of players completely off gear.

There is a place for all three formats, though, we are the only sport I can think of which has three versions. Cricket must treasure this originality. These three versions require different skills, skills that have evolved, grown, changed over the last four decades, one impacting on the other.

Test cricket is the gold standard, it is the form the players want to play. The 50-over game is the one that has kept cricket's revenues alive for more than three decades now. Twenty20 has come upon us and it is the format people, the fans want to see.

Cricket must find a middle path, it must scale down this mad merry-go-round that teams and players find themselves in: heading off for two-Test tours and seven-match ODI series with a few Twenty20s thrown in.

Test cricket deserves to be protected, it is what the world's best know they will be judged by. Where I come from, nation versus nation is what got people interested in cricket in the first place. When I hear the news that a country is playing without some of its best players, I always wonder, what do their fans think?

People may not be able to turn up to watch Test cricket but everyone follows the scores. We may not fill 65,000 capacity stadiums for Test matches, but we must actively fight to get as many as we can in, to create a Test match environment that the players and the fans feed off. Anything but the sight of Tests played on empty grounds. For that, we have got to play Test cricket that people can watch.

I don't think day-night Tests or a Test championship should be dismissed.

In March of last year I played a day-night first-class game in Abu Dhabi for the MCC and my experience from that was that day-night Tests is an idea seriously worth exploring. There may be some challenges in places where there is dew but the visibility and durability of the pink cricket ball was not an issue.

Similarly, a Test championship, with every team and player driving themselves to be winners of a sought after title, seems like it would have a context to every game.

Keeping Tests alive may mean different innovations in different countries - maybe taking it to smaller cities, playing it in grounds with smaller capacities like New Zealand has thought of doing, maybe reviving some old venues in the West Indies, like the old Recreation Ground in Antigua.

When I was around seven years old, I remember my father taking a Friday off so that we could watch three days of Test cricket together. On occasions he couldn't, I would accompany one of his friends, just to soak in a day of Test cricket and watch the drama slowly unfold.

What we have to do is find a way to ensure that Test matches fit into 21st century life, through timing, environments and the venues they are held in. I am still convinced it can be done, even in our fast-moving world with a short attention span. We will often get told that Test matches don't make financial sense, but no one ever fell in love with Test cricket because they wanted to be a businessman. Not everything of value comes at a price.

There is a proposal doing the rounds about scrapping the 50-over game completely. I am not sure I agree with that - I certainly know that the 50-over game helped us innovate strokes in our batting which we were then able to take into Test matches. We all know that the 50-over game has been responsible for improving fielding standards all over the world.

The future may well lie in playing one-day internationals centered around ICC events, like the Champions Trophy and the World Cups. This would ensure that all 50-over matches would build up for those tournaments.

That will cut back the number of one-day internationals played every year but at least those matches will have context. Since about I think 1985, people have been saying that there is too much meaningless one-day cricket. Maybe it's finally time to do something about it.

The Twenty20 game as we know has as many critics as it has supporters in the public. Given that an acceptable strike rate in T20 these days is about 120, I should probably complain about it the most. The crowd and revenue numbers, though, tell us that if we don't handle Twenty20 correctly, we may well have more and more private players stepping in to offer not just slices of pie, but maybe even bigger pies themselves.

So I'll re-iterate what I've just said very quickly because balancing three formats is important:

We have Test cricket like we have always had, nation versus nation, but carefully scheduled to attract crowds and planned fairly so that every Test playing country gets its fair share of Tests. And playing for a championship or a cup, not just a ranking.

The 50-overs format focused around fewer, significant multi-nation ICC events like the Champions Trophy and the World Cup. In the four-year cycle between World Cups, plan the ODI calendar and devise rankings around these few important events. Anything makes more sense than seven-match ODI series.

The best role for Twenty20 is as a domestic competition through official leagues, which will make it financially attractive for cricketers. That could also keep cricket viable in countries where it fights for space and attention.

Because the game is bigger than us all, we must think way ahead of how it stands today. Where do we want it to be in the year 2020? Or say in 2027, when it will be 150 years since the first Test match was played. If you think about it, cricket has been with us longer than the modern motor car, it existed before modern air travel took off.

As much as cricket's revenues are important to its growth, its traditions and its vibrancy are a necessary part of its progress in the future. We shouldn't let either go because we played too much of one format and too little of the other.

Professionalism has given cricketers of my generation privileged lives and we know it, even though you may often hear us whining about burn-out, travel and the lack of recovery time.

Whenever we begin to get into that mindset, it's good to remember a piece of Sachin's conversation with Bradman. Sachin told us that he had asked Sir Don how he had mentally prepared for big games, what his routines were. Sir Don said, that well, before a game he would go to work and after the game go back to work. Whenever a cricketer feels a whinge coming on, that would be good to remember.

Before I conclude, I also want to talk briefly about an experience I have often had over the course of my career. It is not to do with individuals or incidents, but one I believe is important to share. I have sometimes found myself in the middle of a big game, standing at slip or even at the non-strikers end and suddenly realised that everything else has vanished. At that moment, all that exists is the contest and the very real sense of the joy that comes from playing the game.

It is an almost meditative experience, where you reconnect with the game just like you did years ago, when you first began, when you hit your first boundary, took the first catch, scored your first century, or were involved in a big victory. It lasts for a very fleeting passage of time, but it is a very precious instant and every cricketer should hang on to it.

I know it is utterly fanciful to expect professional cricketers to play the game like amateurs; but the trick, I believe, is taking the spirit of the amateur - of discovery, of learning, of pure joy, of playing by the rules - into our profession. Taking it to practice or play, even when there's an epidemic of white-line fever breaking out all over the field.

In every cricketer there lies a competitor who hates losing, and yes, winning matters. But it is not the only thing that matters when you play cricket. How it is played is as important for every member of every team because every game we play leaves a footprint in cricket's history. We must never forget that.

What we do as professionals is easily carried over into the amateur game, in every way - batting, bowling, fielding, appealing, celebration, dissent, argument. In the players of 2027, we will see a reflection of this time and of ourselves and it had better not annoy or anguish us 50-year-olds.

As the game's custodians, it is important we are not tempted by the short-term gains of the backward step. We can be remembered for being the generation that could take the giant stride.

Thank you for the invitation to address all of you tonight, and your attention.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by balajik1968 on (December 17, 2011, 2:19 GMT)

A fine speech by a man, who has shown himself to be as fine a man as he is a cricketer. There is so much to take from this. The way he questions the bellicose language cricket and sports journalism has adopted, to the way he brings out the shared history between India and Australia, the Don and what he may have meant to an India trying to win political independence, cricket in general and Indian cricket in particular. It is a beautiful portrait he has painted, with exquisite strokes of the brush. The way he has covered upon a broad gamut of topics is simply marvellous. He truly is a magnificent ambassador for India and the game. The homework he has so evidently done for this speech typifies the man. Tendulkar cannot make such a speech, because the man has lived like a monk for 22 years, and hence has a tunnel vision. Another guy I'd love to listen to is Laxman. Something tells me he can come up with something just as exquisite. BTW, I am not demeaning Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 5:59 GMT)

speech made me cry...really....seriously cricket demands no is the language widely spoken in india an..when he gave instance of passing the torch from bradman to ll make every cricket fan emotional.. am proud that we indians live the game cricket..!!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

Can't stop listening to this speech again and again. I am going to revere this speech for the rest of my life. As a cricket fan, nothing gets better than this. Watching cricket will never be the same again.

Posted by humheyglobal on (December 16, 2011, 0:49 GMT)

In his speech Dravid is talking about the U19 match where the last batsmen where from UP and kerala. The batsmen where Suresh Kumar ( and Dharmendra Mishra( It was nice to see that Dravid is remembering each incidence and each person. What a great talk.....

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:54 GMT)

Part 12: You sure have left a legacy and not to worry Rahul anna, you won't be disappointed as a 50 year old. I hope cricketers, budding as well as current, across the globe take a note of the Greatest Sir's words conveyed through probably the Greatest Ambassador. I'm sure Sir Don must be very proud watching the Oration from the heavens above. He must be a very pleased man to see his Legacy being conveyed in such a pleasing manner by probably the Greatest Ambassador. Equally must The Don have been distraught at the proceedings of the Sydney Test, January 2008 and spot fixings. I always thought Rahul Dravid is the rarest of a rare genius and this speech is proof enough. The message he gave, us grownups, is to be humble, treat the fan with respect, love this game and have a vision to protect it. Rahul = RESPECT. Take my bows, Rahul anna! Cheers...

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:52 GMT)

Part 11: IPL bashers always saw IPL as destroying test match cricket but never did they empathise with all those young children who want to choose cricket as a career. It is neigh impossible that they can ever represent India or their respective countries. I met Dravid only once and had a chat with him in the corridors of a hotel. Later on, as years passed, I wanted to meet him over a cup of coffee and have a chit-chat. But this man is no chit-chat man. When he opens his mouth, he means serious business, just like his cricket. I can't help but wonder what did this world miss when Dravid chose to become a sportsperson instead of pursuing a career as a Doctor, Space Scientist, Physicist, Civil Services in India, History, Literature, Philosophy....He has that keen eye, mind and pedigree. Can't thank his parents more for giving this Great Son to the world. Rahul anna, you will always have the kindest blessings of all the true fans of cricket, whichever country they belong to.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:51 GMT)

Part 10: Dravid may be basically a test cricketer but his backing for t20s, ODIs and tests all at the same time shows how badly we need people like him who are deeply in love with Cricket. And some 'fans' want t20 and IPL to die. What kind of 'fans' are they? The real fan's voice, the voice of the one who loves, respects and wants a middle ground, is lost in the cacophony of the insular fans who talk of exclusivity, exoticism and death unto t20/IPL. The real love for Cricket is conspicuous by its absence when one resorts to such a mean stand. I can't thank Dravid more for choosing this platform as a medium to let outsiders understand that there is more to IPL than just being a format of cricket. It is a revenue generating business, providing livelihood to many people, not just from India but from abroad (ask Gayle).

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:51 GMT)

Part 9: Find a middle ground. There will be no scope for talk of exclusivity or holier than thou and talk of death of any format. For eg: Gayle doesn't mind if Test Cricket dies. I can imagine that he has a family and that he might be facing lot of problems with his board, administrators etc. BUT, what kind of a 'cricketer' is he? He may be from that group of cricketers who want to play cricket for business, unlike who represented cricket for the love of it, and he comes across as a Caribbean Cricketer who doesn't seem to know about fire in Babylon let alone knowing about Cricket as a whole and how intricately it is woven into our lives. And here we have Dravid, an Indian, talking about reviving Stadia in that very Caribbean for the sake of test Cricket. What an irony?! Gayle will surely be a happier person to play t20/IPL and I'm very happy for him. He could simply have chosen to play IPL without disrespecting this great game. That's my grouse against him and 'cricketers' like him.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:50 GMT)

Part 8: It takes a great statesman to show Sir Bradman as the beacon of the oppressed under one enemy. Absolutely, jaw dropping and spot on! If the inventers had to resort to Bodyline Series, then that goes to show what a phenomenon Sir Don must have been. Yes, though Dravid tried his best to tell us about The Don in 30 minutes, The Don still is a mythical figure to me, in a sense, albeit the most revered one. To close my eyes and think Sir Bradman as one of the persons who must have brought joy to my Grand Father's generation is just overwhelming and tears don't seem to stop anytime soon. Next, I completely agree with Dravid's idea that all the three forms of cricket, tests, ODIs and t20s, should be celebrated and cherished. And to think that Dravid is basically a test cricketer is even more delightful. Such delightful thoughts can come only when you love the game as a whole, not just its parts. When you love and respect something, you will always want to accommodate and protect.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

Part 7: If sheer numbers is all that is there to batsmanship, then why no one else is able to match those numbers, even after being full time professionals? I can't thank Cricket Australia more for taking this meticulous decision of inviting Dravid to speak about the Greatest of them all, Sir Donald Bradman. I'm thoroughly ashamed to assume that some of the modern day greats are in the same league as Sir Bradman, just because Sir Don didn't play in all the countries. Thanks to Cricket Australia and Dravid for enlightening me and many 'fans' like me across the globe. I was never a huge fan of numbers in cricket because I always felt there is more to cricket than just numbers. But never did I urge more, than today, that The Don should have had that magical 100 across his name before he crossed that boundary, for the last time. It's really sad.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

Part 6: How blessed are we that Sir Bradman chose to play cricket and how ignorant are we that, instead of celebrating the great man in our day to day lives, we, including me, have reached the nadir of questioning his credentials, day in and day out. Cricket Australia deserves a standing ovation for giving us this opportunity to know more about Sir Bradman. It is eye-opening to know that being an amateur and having to do something else on a day to day basis to earn his bread, Sir Bradman came up with those mind numbing numbers. The professionals of today are not able to come anywhere close to half his numbers. That should tell us that there is something more to Sir Bradman, than numbers, that puts him apart. How ignorant I was, all along, to think that Sir Bradman is being touted as the Greatest just for his sheer numbers. Little did I realize that there is something Superhuman about him that made him accumulate those numbers.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

Part 5: Take a bow to the Greatest Sir of them all. Alas, Sir Don's legacy is lost on many 'cricketers' and 'fans' alike. This is where we need Ambassadors, to connect past with the present, to connect present with the future and more importantly to connect people of a given generation to one another, though we live in a small worldwideweb. Cricket Australia did a great service to this game by inviting a walking encyclopedia like Dravid to deliver this Oration. There are Icons, Super Icons and then there are Ambassadors and Super Ambassadors. The role of an Ambassador lies not in as much as telling us who the icon is but why? If Dravid's intention was to tell us why Sir Bradman was/is/will be a Super Icon, then Dravid did that to perfection like a Super Ambassador. Mission accomplished!The fantastic people in Cricket Australia can't be appreciated more for choosing this delightful person to let the world know what Sir Bradman stands for.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:47 GMT)

Part 4: It is overwhelming to note that Dravid chose this esteemed platform to articulately connect this Fan from somewhere across the globe to the Greatest Sir of them all and to the great game of cricket. Now, can the BCCI at least have a modicum of decency to provide well sanitized places where a mother can safely and cleanly change the diaper for her child in our Stadia when she comes with her family to watch this great game? Next, It is truly humbling and overwhelming to note that Sir Bradman meant so much for pre-independent India. Alas, he was just the greatest icon! No, he is not the greatest icon. Not anymore! Time is so merciless that many 'fans' have started dragging him down. Time is such a leveler that Sir Don's credentials are being relentlessly questioned by us, the ignorant. It is indeed overwhelming to remind ourselves, once again, that the greatest of them all used to go back to work after scoring doubles and triples, instead of putting his feet up.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:47 GMT)

Part 3: But I now feel secure, more than ever before, that there is this man Dravid, who may or may not take an active role in Cricket's administration but, who let the powers that be known, with his lucid articulation, that apart from knowing and celebrating history, celebrating The Legend Sir Bradman and his timeless words of wisdom, apart from getting to know the lovely fact that Indians and Aussies were comrades, all of which may have their own geographical and political significance, one has to know, celebrate and respect The Fan. Disrespecting a fan is disrespecting the game. What a truly delightful thought! What a delightful way of connecting the dots from that Superhuman Sir Bradman to That Fan in the Stadium. That Fan of Cricket transcends all the manmade boundaries; revels in that Nirvana and keeps the game alive.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:46 GMT)

Part 2: Never was I so deeply moved after reading, hearing and then reading + hearing such words of wisdom and love. Swami Vivekananda it was, once upon a time. And it's Rahul Dravid now. He touched my inner self and churned out a tornado; then peace and then restlessness; sadness; overwhelming sadness; tears overflowing from my lacrimals; a walk to Dunkin Donuts for a cup of coffee; followed by various thoughts and thought processes; exhaustion and then sleep. I wake up and find myself that I'm still contemplating.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:45 GMT)

Part 1: The sheer range of issues and facts that Dravid touched upon in those mere 30 minutes are so diverse and varied that each one of them is worthy of a volume, if one were to dissect deeper, let alone the speech itself. This is an absolute Master class coming straight from Dravid's shrewd cricketing brain. Sorry, from his shrewd brain. Insightful, thought provoking, exemplary, meticulous, realistic and ideal rolled into one, love, inspirational, visionary, respectful, intense, introspective, patriotic, humane, passionate, elegant, delightful, emotional, witty....This Master piece is as much about the greatest of them all, Legend Sir Bradman, as it is about Life. Sorry, about intelligent life filled with love. It is extremely important for us to not to get carried away by singing praises of the intelligence and love of the man who delivered this speech. But, one can't help but marvel at the man for delivering a piece of his own mind.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 15, 2011, 21:44 GMT)

Dear Cricinfo, please publish my posts that come in 12 parts following this post. I'm overwhelmed with this Oration and I would want to share my deep feelings and connect with fellow cricket fans across the globe. What better way than through Cricinfo? I sincerely hope you will accede to the request of this cricket fan. Thank you in advance for your time, kind attention and consideration.

Posted by shailesh_naidu on (December 15, 2011, 18:30 GMT)

Great Speech indeed. Very well spoken.

Posted by Night-Watchman on (December 15, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

This will go down as one of the most powerful speeches on Cricket. The audio delivery style was weak, but the text of the speech is compelling in its reading. A Gettysberg address for cricket, though a lot longer than that!

Posted by KK47 on (December 15, 2011, 17:47 GMT)

I like to talk about our players - Anil , Dravid, Sehwag, Sachin and I always find different emotional responses to each individual. Rahul always commands highest respect and dignity and I have not been able to find a single person who does not value him-as a great and selfless cricketer and above all a model and humble human being. His Bradman oration truly reflects his character and simplicity, his evergreen love and respect for the game. These are the kind of inspirational figures the world cricket needs to overcome the dark shadows of betting and fixing. I hope all the world cricketing bodies take note of Rahul's advice and implement them to keep the game alive. Rahul, you have already earned respect and love of every Indian cricket lover, after reading this speech, remaining world should follow...

Posted by HarishVS on (December 15, 2011, 17:28 GMT)

cricket began as a noble game of gentlemen though can't say if it is still continued to be played by gentlemen! But with this gem of a speech from one of the best gentlemen of cricket, it again will become to be called as gentlemen's game!

Posted by Vinodha19 on (December 15, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

Heart touching. Eyes were wet! First time in the cricinfo all the comments from the world rasied single voice. He is not a wall He is Mt.Everest. Chindhi speech anna!

Posted by cmpat on (December 15, 2011, 16:46 GMT)

Only one word can describe this ... RESPECT !!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 16:21 GMT)

awesome speech from an awesome greater..hats off to the wall...

Posted by rolwinl on (December 15, 2011, 16:20 GMT)

Most articulate cricketer in the team. Wonderful speech.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 16:04 GMT)

Awesome speech. Must read for all cricket followers.

Posted by galaata on (December 15, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

I am very thankful to you for the wonderful speech .

Posted by rohitkossery on (December 15, 2011, 15:17 GMT)

An excellent speech by a wonderful cricketer, and a great human. My aunt's sister personally knows Rahul Dravid, and has spoken of how down to earth and respectful he is. I remember meeting him personally, along with the entire Indian cricket team, in Singapore airport in 2002, and I had the privilege of receiving their autographs. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are really a class apart, not just on the field, but also off it, for the courtesy and respect they show their fans. Dravid i also held in high regard the Lord's cricket museum, and I have personally seen the bat he has generously donated to the museum in one of their display cabinets. The Don is absolutely right. Great athletes have something more than just raw talent. They have the dignity, with integrity, with courage and modesty. I am really proud to have met this great cricketer in person.

Posted by khiladisher on (December 15, 2011, 14:43 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

One of the bigger reasons I don't go and watch matches in a stadium and I believe it is true with others too which is causing this dip in audience numbers, is the harassment one has to go thru to be at the stadium.

1. Parking problem: vehicle to be parked far away 2. Public transport issue: autos/taxis will not be readily available near by and will charge heftily 3. Not allowed to carry eatables/water inside stadium. Have to buy things inside at an expensive rate 4. Unending checks and queues for security reasons 5. No proper covers/shades for scorching sunlight 6. And of-course too many matches 7. Over priced tickets and the black market of ticket sale

The convenience of watching on larger LED TVs with HD feed, comfort of AC at home, company of friends/family, all the good food/drinks you want, watching the close-up shots with replays and literally hassle-free; scores better than the trouble one has to go thru to watch at a stadium.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

just like his batting...this is awesomeness..

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 13:48 GMT)

Excellent speech by rahul dravid a must read

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

Hats off Rahul Dravid..!! gr8 speech..

Posted by UKelly on (December 15, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

An excellent speech very well thought out and encapsulates the personality that is Rahul Dravid. He is indeed a philosopher, cricketer and has all our blessings.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

Masterclass! I am one of Rahul Dravid's most fanatical fans but even I did not know he had in him, the ability to speak with the astute fluency he did. A model cricketer he always was, but to be one of its best orators off the field-and I say this because there are many who show it on the field and none too politely I may add- is very rare in this game. I salute you 'the real' Mr. cricket (yes, Mike Hussey will be the first to acknowledge this). Hope you continue your work as the game's finest ambassador for a long time to come, on and off the field.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 12:46 GMT)

Superb Speech. Great read...

Posted by shaks0202 on (December 15, 2011, 12:39 GMT)

An awesome speech from one of the few Gentleman from the Gentlemen's game..just like one of his innumerable masterstrokes he has played for our nation..passion, insight, emotional, graceful and woven with a silken thread of elegance....the adjectives can go on and on..... The content had just about everything one would crave for, while listening to a speech or while reading an had to come from one of the best students of the game...just goes to show how well read the man himself is, and how well researched the subject is....a well deserved standing ovation for the speech...Take a bow Jammy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

Very good speech and well delivered...Kudos to THE WALL

Posted by Hareesh72 on (December 15, 2011, 11:35 GMT)

It was a very good speech. He had talked about all the issues of modern day cricket, but i would have loved to see him talking about his opinion on UDRS too here. Is there a BCCI ban on players even airing their opinions on UDRS too?

Posted by vinaynkumar on (December 15, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

Super one from RD; one for the archives; his reading of the game is something extra ordinary, high class and so much holistic. Inspiring oration to say the least; I am sure the Don listened to it from up there and felt proud of RD today. We are all blessed to be watching him through out his career and share the nationality that he wears so proudly on his sleeve!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:32 GMT)

Best Speech i have ever heard by a Cricketer...In his speech we come to know about the feelings of cricketers,fans and so on...Take a bow to RD a true legend...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

I always envied China, not for their industriousness (which is overshadowed by piracy) or discipline (germinated from the communism) but the Great Wall they built which seemed to precede even Taj Mahal on the grounds of austerity and integrity. Today I am feeling absolute triumphant over China and even Australia for that matter, after hearing to this impeccable cover drive from Indian Wall that marks the beginning of victorious crusade of India over Australia. Thank Dravid, we are indebted forever…!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:23 GMT)

Excellent speech....Mixed with emotion, passion, suggestion, vision...must read even for a non cricketing person...Well done Dravid!!!!!!!

Posted by thegoodgame on (December 15, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

I have read this speech 4 times since morning. Everytime I discover something new which amazes me. Well researched - how else did he find out about Indian and Australian soldiers fighting together? Insightful - we have read so much about Sir Don's batting stats; but Sir Don as the hope of nation under foreign rule? that was a masterstroke. And it takes a statesman to show the wider picture of Indian cricket beyond cliches of wealth and avarice Indian cricket is usually tagged with. And humble till the end. I feel blessed to be a fellow countryman to this amazing person!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:03 GMT)

you are not just a great cricketer.... you are a good speaker too.Hats off to my countryman...We Indians are proud of you...............

Posted by kmeghani on (December 15, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

Wonderful speech sir, really a true ambassador of cricket. I felt happy to listen your thoughts on Test cricket, I hope that Cricket decision makers are listening your thoughts. Well done sir!! I am a humble contributer to this game from Pakistan and trying to teach young boys this wonderful game currently in Syria! Please wish us your best wishes. With best regards, Karim Meghani

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:54 GMT)

This is just sensational speech by RD.. wowwww.. :-) A must read..

Posted by srikanthgaddala on (December 15, 2011, 10:30 GMT)

The best Speech i have ever Read in the Cricinfo...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:02 GMT)

just an awesome , and insightful speech that covrs so man aspects of the game and makes us proud to be cricket fans that are never forgotten by our heroes as well above all else proud indians!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:48 GMT)

what a speech!!! take a bow.... Rahul Dravid

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

Great wall really he is a good speaker and a truthful also will love to meet him not bcoz he is a cricketer but he is a good man.

Posted by Ganninfo on (December 15, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

Awesome speech by the great master. By far the best speech by a cricketer. We all knew he was a good speaker, but this was just far too good. I came to know that there was something like the Sir Don Bradman oration, because RD spoke... kudos to the true saint of Indian cricket!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

Wonderful insight from a true gentleman and a legend of the game. Rahul Dravid exudes the humility and class that should be the blueprint for aspiring cricketers. As a South African of Indian decent, it has been a privilege to watch you play.

Posted by vinayjayaram on (December 15, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

Jammy always lives upto expectation, on the field or on the podium..This speech is nothing short of sensational but still nothing less was expected from him anyway because of the cricketing acumen that he possesses..Hats off RD..You made all of us proud..

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 8:35 GMT)

@Kachere John: Knowing the kind of person Rahul is, he doesn't need somebody to write his speech. He is one of the most studious characters of Indian cricket. Well educated, very well read and possessing a high level of intellect.

Posted by ChillBill_Pande on (December 15, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

..... .... .. . Salute ! . .. .... ......

Posted by sirviv on (December 15, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

I know about a wall that is greater than china... This man requested the goverening bodies "very politely" to take some interest in bringing back the spirit of this beautiful game. I can only hope and pray something comes out of it.

Posted by Akheel on (December 15, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

Hats off to you, Sir! liked it, loved it....a SL fan

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

outstandin n impecceble speech by an outstandin person who nt nly represents india bt direction in which d world cricket should go! he spoke exactly wat v all feel! the way he spoke was truly a mixture of intelligence followed by education.. phrases he has used in speech is truly a sign of intelligent person.their was such a charm in his romance wid d words dat even d brightest f d writers will pay kudos to him. oh! how lovely a heart cn b of a simple man who stood against d changin times f dis slam bang cricket! a true gentleman v r witnessin!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

Amazing read... Great speech... Thank you RD

Posted by Rahul_78 on (December 15, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

The Man...The Cricketer...The Wall....! Thank you Rahul Dravid...for a change you have made a nation proud with your words rather then bat. Love and Respect!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 7:28 GMT)

Good one Rahul ...............................

Posted by Prakhs on (December 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

Wonderful words by a great man. Dravid as calm and composed as he is on the cricket pitch. We are privileged to be living in an era where we could see greats like Dravid and Sachin blowing us by their greatness. Take a bow Wall, you deserve more respect than you already receive.

Posted by Gevius1 on (December 15, 2011, 7:09 GMT)

Dear Great Wall of India, What a great Oration!! You are a true statesman of the gentleman's sport. I wish few politicians especially from India can learn from this speech and how to be a true ambassador to your country. Thanks a million Dravid for making us proud. Regardless of who wins this series- it is sure to go down a one of the best cricketing seasons we ever had in Australia. I wish I would have had the opportunity to listen to the speech in person as I just live few km from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. But then, I had the rare privilege of actually (accidentally I must add) welcoming the Great Wall himself, that too in Kannada, inside the Qantas flight from Melbourne to Canberra- what a pity that I could not stop for more than few seconds and had to rush past him as other passengers were lining up to occuptheir seats- never mind- I can cherish the 61 minutes of that flight knowing that it also had the other legends like Sachin just a few rows behind. Samba

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (December 15, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

Great Speech, If Cricket was unlucky then he would have been a Great Diplomat.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:48 GMT)

Interesting speech. I always thought Kumar Sangakara was the speech master but these cricketers seem to know how to speak on the podium. Will be interesting to find out who drafts the speeches.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

A great game. A great cricketer. Thanks to "The Wall".

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Awesome Speech By the LEGEND!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:21 GMT)

Excellent speech....Mixed with emotion, passion, suggestion, vision...must read even for a non cricketing person...Well done Dravid!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

Seriously a good one. Thank you Rahul Dravid!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

Great ideas...!! Marvellous speech by The Wall.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

This is purely motivating; motivating enough to reconsider one's thoughts to choose between the right and the wrong in this world !!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

A speech that should make every Indian cricketer and every Indian proud. Rahul Dravid is a real statesman of the world game. If he had been a bit more open in his criticism of his own Board, I would have been more pleased.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

awesome speech from a legendary cricketer.....................all kudos to him.........proud to be an indian

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

Legendary speech by Dravid. He is an idol to emulate in so many ways. Seeing him play and now talk seems like this is what cricket was designed for. A true gentelman of cricket..

Posted by siriusrooney on (December 15, 2011, 5:26 GMT)

I am not ashamed to say I have tears in my eyes. What have Indian cricket done to deserve such a true gentleman? I am very lucky to be born in the same era as Sachin and Rahul and some of the other greats, in this greatest era of Cricket till date.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:20 GMT)

And therefore I declare him the Mr. Intelligent of Cricket. Wow! I'll watch every match in which he'll be a commentator. He has so very much to give to cricket. No wonder why Fletcher takes his views and suggestions so seriously.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 5:15 GMT)

Great speech by Rahul Dravid.

Posted by SaduSak on (December 15, 2011, 5:15 GMT)

An Indian cricket fan would experience an emotion exactly the way he/she does after just hearing to our National Anthem played before an Gold medal is about to be presented to an athlete at Olympics!!!

Posted by madhan17 on (December 15, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

speech lesss, i am not even have right's to comment on this speech, just want to say one thing,, thank u, Thank u for everything Rahul Dravid: The wall of india,,, by your biggest fan

Posted by SaduSak on (December 15, 2011, 5:10 GMT)

We are so fortunate to be alive to hear/read this ONE of a kind of speech, i would not say speech, a piece of mind of the one and only RD speaking about the one and only Sir Don, cricketing history past n present of especially India and the emotions our Indian team carry is almost unfathomable and the way an cricket fan will feel is extraordinary after hearing this.

Read it first then Hear it then read it, then hear it....somewhere in the middle of this every Indian fan will think, think of what Rahul Dravid is all about - his personality, character and the way he looks at India, Cricket, Life, and beyond...

I salute you RD and feel very proud that I am living as one of your contemporary as an Indian cricket 'fan' !

Truly, truly, truly one of a kind genius of the game!

Posted by bashok87 on (December 15, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

Please Please bring back those tri-series'. That'll bring meaning to each game played. These 7 match bi-lateral one day series' are really boring...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

my eyes have become moist after reading the speech. This man is a real gem and yet humble. RD we love you.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

Absolutely fabulous. I don't have enough words to exclaim my satisfaction upon reading and hearing this one. I have always been a huge fan of Rahul Dravid, no matter how much my peers would take a dig at me for following him (being a slow scorer Dravid has his fair share of critics in India). Hence in a way I always expected him to be a master of elocution (I expect him to be a great commentator if he chooses to be one), just like people expected Sehwag to score an ODI double hundred. Well done Dravid. All concerned parties should not merely hail the speech but look to address the issues raised by him. Cricket surely stands on a threshold today. The collective actions of the administrators, players and fans would decide the future of this most beautiful game.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 4:22 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

He captured every thought and detail that is going through the minds of cricket fans all over the world, who are crying out to manage the game so that they do not lose on the wonderful game of cricket. Thank you Rahul Dravid.

Posted by Shadabkola on (December 15, 2011, 3:53 GMT)

Wow!!! such an amazing speech. Very touching and equally passionate. Cant imagine anybody else to come even closer to whatever he had to speak. Perfection personified just like his Technique. Hats off to you Mr Rahul Dravid. U made us Indians proud. All the very best for the tour down under. True Champion, true Indian.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 3:48 GMT)

Brilliant speech by The Wall.......Must Read

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

Tht was fabulous stuff Rahul Dravid !!! A true legend !!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

Awesome speech by Dravid. The contents of the speech and the composure during the delivery was too good. Reminded me of the famous speech given by Swami Vivekananda in the World Parliament of Religions, Chicago in 1893. This speech needs to be listened by all the cricket lovers of the world. Very balanced contents.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

Speechless, One of the best of all time is alarming us to take a giant leap to create a better platform for future generation. I hope, administrator will understand this. Proud to be a dravidian

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 15, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

Wow, Super! Ranks very high on the list of best speeches. What an articulate man Rahul Dravid is! Easily beats Sangakkara's speech at the Lord's.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 2:46 GMT)

awesome speech...... took me more than 20min to read and feel like to read it again and again......

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 2:27 GMT)

Excellent Speech by a selfless cricketer and a great human being !!! Lots of lessons to be learnt from his speech - for the cricketers, for the administrators, as well as the fans. Feeling proud to be a fan follower of "Rahul Dravid"

Posted by KVishnuP on (December 15, 2011, 2:06 GMT)

Lot of insight in Dravid's speech. Cricket administrators need to think a lot (from Dravid's speech) on how to handle game's precious and excellent format of the game. Excellent human being, most skillful cricketer and an important ambassador to the game of cricket. Pure CLASS !!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 2:03 GMT)

A speech on cricket for the ages. Gets to the core of what it is to be a cricketer -- top class or street class.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 1:14 GMT)

Dravid, on the field, and off it always exudes class, no different here. Such a fantastic speech.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 1:05 GMT)

Great speech by Rahul Dravid. Beautiful ideas.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

Brittliant, Rahul's unseen talent & intellect in this speech. Great insight to some of the stories that were not known.

Posted by pitch_it_up on (December 15, 2011, 0:34 GMT)

I am chocked...I've a lump in my eyes are moist!! Even though I knew that RD is capable of a speech of this quality, I feel I am not qualified to post a comment here....I'll take some time and regroup myself and post what I really think about this speech. Till then, take my bows my master!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 0:14 GMT)

One of the most respected and highly intellectual cricketer's inspiring oration ever heard! Kudos Dravid! Every Indian should hear this!

Posted by Stevo_ on (December 14, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

Dravid - class act as usual. The key thing for me was he said that T20 should be domestic only, couldn't agree more.

Posted by vrgaurav on (December 14, 2011, 23:41 GMT)

Between Rahul Gandhi and Rahul Dravid, I know the one I would vote for as Prime Minister!

Posted by raghu_sb on (December 14, 2011, 23:26 GMT)

After going thru some of the comments, I have to admit even Rahul's admirers/fans also have lot of class.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 23:21 GMT)

Wow no words to describe............A legend taking about another..........

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 23:20 GMT)

great speech by a great man.

Posted by laksh on (December 14, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

Wow....The best speech i've ever read/listened from a cricketer no surprise though when I came to know he is going to deliver this year's bradman oration. Expected the same response from the fans and cricket lovers.

hail Sir RD,Proud to be a Dravidian

Posted by here2rock on (December 14, 2011, 22:51 GMT)

Great speech I wonder whether Dravid actually wrote it or someone else?

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 14, 2011, 22:42 GMT)

It is early days for Rahul yet. But can anyone think of a better candidate to run for the President of the ICC someday which surely needs people of such high intellect to redeem its image. What is important is that quite apart from his erudition, vision and wisdom,he is also one of the greatest batsman of all time. Cricket cannot be served better than by having him run the show in these troubled times with its popularity seems on the wane.

Posted by Bobby614 on (December 14, 2011, 22:41 GMT)

DRAVID is a gem of a cricketer.. one who always played for the sake of the team.

Posted by sparth on (December 14, 2011, 22:17 GMT)

Brilliant speech, i wish I could write such an amazing speech

Posted by bigdhonifan on (December 14, 2011, 22:15 GMT)

This is why he is a step ahead of Ponting, Kallis,Inzamam, Lara, Sangakkara and on Par with Sachin. RAHUL.DRAVID.IS.A.LEGEND

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 22:14 GMT)

Awesome speech by THE INDIA WALL

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

Stupendous stuff from The Wall...on my wall

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is a gem of the Indian Cricket.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

What speech!!! Respect.. Tells everything about the man.. Cricket was the main dish... But Lunch contained many more precious dishes!!!!!!!

Posted by BillyCC on (December 14, 2011, 21:33 GMT)

Great speech, excellent ideas which must be given thought and trial; not all of them will work. Dravid has a bright future ahead of him in life after batting.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas: I've been waiting for ur comments. Its been a while I've been following u whenever there is an article about Dravid. Coz, I also share a loads of similarities with u having RD as my role model. This speech is breathless. Only RD could have spent time in preparing the speech while nobody even dares to give a damn thought about it. Whenever I 'm down with issues personally & professionally, RD's articles (b it in Cricinfo or in any other page) seems to erect me and continue to guide me out of troubles. Plainly speaking, this speech is brilliant and can't be overshadowed in years to come.

Posted by NikhilNair on (December 14, 2011, 21:09 GMT)

I'm Speechless! Thank the lord who gave our country this legend.... true GEM!

Posted by wambling_future on (December 14, 2011, 21:09 GMT)

The best line in the whole speech for me was: "the Indian cricket fan is best understood by remembering the sentiment of the majority, not the actions of a minority"... spot on !!!

Posted by Nampally on (December 14, 2011, 20:33 GMT)

A fine oration of the game of cricket & the history of India- Aussie alliance dating back to WW1. Also reflection about present & future of Cricket as a multi formatted game. It was an excellent speech coming from a professional Cricketerwho is not a politicians. It came from the heart and it was an impressive soul searching speech.Dravid truly showed that he is a multi facetted Cricketer who will have a fine second career even after his retirement. The most important aspect of this speech was its content which was rich, Philosophical and practical too.When, Dravid called a common enemy (England), ruled India, the locals were second class citizens & cricket was only accessible to rich & to Princes. Even a sewing pin "had to be imported" from England. 63 years after British were ousted from India, India is the second best Economy in the World!.Cricket is accessible to all Indians which has made India ODI World Champions & were #1 in Tests until recently.Bravo, Free India & Jai Hind!.

Posted by PratUSA on (December 14, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

Even off the field on a completely new stage, Rahul Dravid lived upto the expectations I (and surely many others) had when it was announced that he will be delivering this year's Bradman Oration. Thanks Rahul for yet another gem.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 14, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

I'm choked. I need some time to decide if I'm worthy enough to post my comments on this speech by Rahul anna.

Posted by doesitmatter on (December 14, 2011, 19:31 GMT)

now wait for one failure..the great wall will be bulldozed

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 19:17 GMT)

Remarkable and comprehensive like his batting! Starts slowly, grows big and deeper. The tough issues of today are deftly handled. Like bouncers, Dravid shows, these issues can be tackled if one watches them closely and takes suitable action. His tone of 'malice towards none, charity for all' runs all thru the oration. BCCI must heed his pitch for respecting the paying spectator. His call for a more rational distribution of cricket among its 3 forms and investing ODIs with context and meaning is something ICC need to take seriously. He has spoken for the unbiased and balanced Indian fan when he graphically illustrates how Indian cricket is not just power and money. The world must hear this and shed the stereotyped image of Indian cricket. The man who never believed in short cuts to get quick runs has warned about the perils of 'short cuts' to fast bucks. The gentleman-cricketer's subtle call for all players to play the game in a way as to reunite these two words deserves attention.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 19:11 GMT)

I have a lump in my throat on reading this - what a beautiful speech. The pictures Dravid painted in his speech are incredible. Oh, to hear him and Sangakara speak side-by-side would be such a joy.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

Intelligent, Practical & Erudite..A stirring speech by Rahul Dravid @ the Bradman Oration.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

Inspiring for all indian cricket fans... Spending 4days of my life with him in a ranji match in 2009 as a ball boy at mysore is the most memorable n precious days of my life... Legendary speech by legendary batsman on legendary batsman! The great wall take a bow!! Sir Rahul is the gentleman of cricket forever, he is the right person for the oration on the legend thanks for ca for providing an opportunity.... None other than him is the right person to deliver the oration! Thank u great wall to make all the cricketers cricket fans, cricket followers feel proud of themselves.... Kudos to u!!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

Even the words coming out from the mouth of Dravid are as elegant and classy as his shots.... Hats off..... Take a bow Rahul Dravid....

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

I am speechless..Absoultely breathtaking.A great cricketer taking about the game in a way that only a man who is passionate and cares about the game can talk..I couldn't agree more with him..Test Cricket is the real deal and people like him who have done so much for the game by just playing it should be heard..ICC Wake up ..Its now or nver..Its about the game..not the money..

Posted by muralitalk2u on (December 14, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

Briilaint sppech by one of Indian Cricket legend Dravid. He is more suitable for these kind of situations. Experince and patince show great character to address a wonderful speech. HATS OFF...!!!

Posted by windiesyouth.12 on (December 14, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

A true stalwart of the game, Rahul Dravid could not have been a better choice to give this speech. Cricket is indeed a game that is able to breach boundaries and i think his thoughts about the way forward for the game should be seriously considered. T20 should be a domestic competition. Old grounds in the WI should be revived to hosts tests, while the new stadia could hold ODIs. Excellent speech, the cricket world would surely miss him when he decides to go (hopefully not any time soon)

Posted by nikhilbengeri on (December 14, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

Jus overwhelmed by reading the "Bradman Oration", and it could not get better by knowing that it was given by the most respected & sought after cricketer "Rahul Dravid". Australians especially Cricket Australia is always proud about preserving the history & culture of its cricket. But this time they asked Rahul Dravid to give, the first time in its own history that a cricketer outside Australia has been asked to give. And not only this. I still remember the article on Cricinfo where Rahul Dravid was given the honorary permission to enter the MCC office (London) on a track suit (where Suit with Tie is mandatory). This shows the caliber of RD as person, cricketer. And what a speech it was, encompassing every aspect of Indian cricket, and also the wisdom shared by Sir Don.. Great..

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

Hatss off RD... I simply Bow to your oration. It had everything.

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 14, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

Wow in the days of ghost written news articles and blogs by players, Dravid comes up with this speech. Obama would be proud of a speech like that. Hope he goes into writing about cricket after retirement.

Posted by Shaps on (December 14, 2011, 17:54 GMT)

Full of honesty, transparent like reality this is the Rahul Dravid's Oration, wow, what a speech man, truly a gentlemen's speech, this will be surely one of the best speech by cricketer.

This is what make us feel proud of what we are following the Game called CriCkeT...

Take a bow ^_^

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 17:40 GMT)

For me the scream of Bill Lawry at 5.00 AM IST on I watched with the toothbrush still in my mouth introduced me to the game's finer things. Test cricket is great no doubt. But I think ODIs are no lesser. The Nash scoop with 6 to win and the ball hitting the rope against SA, the great Sachin-Saurav partnerships, the deadly Akram spells, Malinga's bowling, Gilchrist's assaults. Pollock's allround skills, Jontys runouts, Inzamam and Moin leading Pakis to victory, Chris Broad's doggedness, kanitkar's last ball four or Asif Mujtabas last overl sixes cannot be disregarded. Playing with the white ball is a skill too. Scoring fast is not easy. Yes Dravid's idea can be modified and we should have only tests between countries. ODIs should be tri-series matches and the number should be minimized. T20 can be played between teams rather than countries. And we should get more countries involved. Maybe t20 matches can go to new countries...

Posted by dravidgood on (December 14, 2011, 17:37 GMT)

of India's romance with cricket. And finally there was the poetic ease, inspiration and grace, what with the instance of not letting facts hinder those great stories and the meditative experiences he shared. It helped remind oneself that behind the dodgy and almost robot like methodical approach which has served the legend fine, there actually was a mind seeped rich in spirit and controlled passion. That is a blend which distinguishes him immediately from any cricketer who comes to the mind. Overall, there is little surprise as to the quality of the content and delivery if one cognized the goods were to be delivered by Rahul Dravid. The only highlight is that his pre-eminence among current generation complete cricketers is now for all practical purposes, official.

Posted by vimalan on (December 14, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

I am not a great fan of his batting but this must be one of the best speeches ever..full of class. respect.

Posted by maddykash on (December 14, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

Very much hope the administrators have listened to these words with some seriousness! Remember only negative consequences after Sanga's great speech some time back. Hope some people who really matter sat down and have taken note of it too. Not that nobody else can think on these lines, but the value addition that happens when these great players mouth the words in front of the world, should have some positive effect.

Rahul.. Take a bow!

Posted by raghoo1 on (December 14, 2011, 17:28 GMT)

I was so impressed with the speech until I saw him read this out the in video at He seems so emotionless and wooden.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

Hats off to you of the best speeches i have ever come are the true ambasador of Cricket and you have made both of them proud..Respect !! :)

Posted by amitoza on (December 14, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

Need a video! Wow! What a speech! I can listen to RD and Jacques Kallis for years! True gentlemen! I didnt see Bradman batting but I have seen my heroes making oppositions cry!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

Another masterpiece from Dravid..just that its so different and off the cricketing pitch this has the humour, insightful and thought provoking content, research and sense of the occassion. All so the "Rahul Dravid" we know and much respect for you and the game has increased all the more after reading your captivating speech sir..thanks for making Cricket proud today !!

Posted by vickyrIND on (December 14, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

Dont know what to comment on but Just wanted to thank the Great Man - The Wall of Indian Cricket to represent India on such a forum with such impeccable speech.

Posted by onkar567 on (December 14, 2011, 17:03 GMT)

WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!JUST WHAT WAS APT TO A PLAYER LIKE DRAVID! such a accurate speech ,diverse but well collected words were used,just shows how this indian has his reputation,class which was clearly being viewed in this immortal speech.............WELL DONE WALL.above all stands his caliber as a fantastic orator other than a fantastic batsman no.3.IT IS A SPECIAL PLACE RAHUL,PONTING.....BUT-MIND BLOWING-SALUTE U DRAVID..

Posted by jindal4u on (December 14, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

Wonderful speech...

However being on cricinfo with ESPN as its owner, i would like to say that test championship is not only important for life of test cricket but for the full game. As Rahul Dravid has said we should not get tempted by short term gains.

Cricinfo's poll itself shows that more than 2/3rd of voters like Test Championship to be played in the near future.

Posted by Naikan on (December 14, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

What a speech!! I am feeling speechless and finding it difficult to pass any comment. That I am doing so, is only to make sure - I do not miss the opportunity to be part of it!! I have always enjoyed all types of players that the game has to offer and I do hold them all in high regard, but Dravid holds a special place in my world. No I do not consider him the best purveyor of batsmanship skills -- there are many who can lay a claim to that and in varied manners. However there are very few who have carried or will carry themsleves in the way Dravid has done and for that I do consider him one of the most complete cricketers ever - in the deepest sense of what Cricket stands for - A Gentleman's game.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

Check it out

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 16:44 GMT)

What a legendary speech by a legendary batsman, a great ambassador n one of the best intellectual playing the game...The best speech I came through till now n one of the best speeches delivered ever..Rahul, U hav put a great picture of India as a country , her culture and as a cricketing nation as a whole....!!!! Hats off the wall...!!!

Posted by Jawz on (December 14, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

One of the finest speeches I have ever read. It is more than cricket. It has history, occasion, emotion, wit, suggestions, analysis, humanity, gratitude, style, grace, magnanimity and respect for everything a game like cricket was meant to be - a truly gentleman's game. And the speech was delivered by a true gentleman. Only a Rahul Dravid could have delivered it. Two finest speeches in one year, the other being by Kumar Sangkarra.

Posted by Paresh.K on (December 14, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

The impeccable Mr Dravid.

Posted by va_fl on (December 14, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

Wow! I had tom make sure that I read each and every line slowly, several times so that I do not miss out on any of its superb value. What great way to bring out the animosities of the past and said with humor, to make sure we play the game as it was meant to be played. Arrogant players, fans, administrators etc take a cue ! He deserves a knighthood just for the value of this message. Arise Sir Rahul !

Posted by hemant.aneja on (December 14, 2011, 16:22 GMT)

Wow. Exceptional speech, evidenced by the fact that there is not even one disagreeing comment. Even motivational 'gurus' and suave statesmen would like to adopt a thing or two from this speech!

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (December 14, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

Hats off to Rahul Dravid - my ROLE MODEL. How eloquent! Full of pertinent examples, rich in historical content, great philosophical points of view, immaculate dissection of problems and very logical and viable solutions and lot more in one spectacular piece of oration!! Proud that someone like RD is from my country.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 14, 2011, 16:16 GMT)

Loved the subtle humor here and there! What a speech ma man! I am moved to tears. Sangakkara's speech and then this. I have got no words.

Posted by vswami on (December 14, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

I am curious .. who speaks Afrikaans in the Indian dressing room ? I googled and found out what Shona is and its incredible some one in the Indian dressing room speaks that language.

Posted by Hiren09 on (December 14, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

You can't expect any less then this from Dravid. While in office i forgot all my work to got involved in reading this. I feel so much proud of being Indian fan while reading this as he has describe it exact words of an Indian fan. I have thanked all my gods for having us show 2nd of April 2011. I'm indeed proud to follow Cricket is part of me since I was 6 yrs old and my true feeling of reflection shows in this speech.....Thanks Dravid...

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

This single piece is so powerful that it adds a new dimension to the perceived personality of Rahul Dravid. I feel too small to even comment about the nuances of his writing. A complete article.

Posted by doesitmatter on (December 14, 2011, 15:59 GMT)

I know he spoke abt the passion local player have, to get that elusive India cap but for me he should have also touched on the aspect of how they lose their way once they get that as different money making avenue opens up..overall a good speech and as with Dravid classy..atleast he did not have a fake accent like KS.

Posted by offbreak on (December 14, 2011, 15:48 GMT)

As an Indian living in Canada, who played every sport - especially cricket - with the integrity tand spirit hat shines through Dravid's speech, I tingle with pride, and wish I could have written or said it as well as him. All the other sincere plaudits aside, this speech should be a wake up call, a stern reminder to Dravid's team-mates and fellow cricketers at all levels in India to ensure they stay committed towards educating and conducting themselves as befits the culture and country they represent. Speak properly, stringing together grammatically correct English sentences, so that they express themselves with grace, courtesy and dignity, while showing respect to their audience.

Dravid's respect for the long suffering cricket fans is gratifying. After a hiatus of over 35 years, I attended last November the first Test between India and NZ in Hyderabad. The stadium facilities, the organizers, and the conduct of police and fans made me regret travelling to India to watch that match.

Posted by Whip on (December 14, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is the best of Indian cricketers of all time. This is the best oration I have heard in a long time. Salute!

Posted by Sundar24 on (December 14, 2011, 15:34 GMT)

What can one say? Bloody Brilliant!! The respect for the man has become exponential. Goosebumps all i wish most if not all of the cricketers are even half grounded as Rahul is. Fantastic!

Posted by mayabhi on (December 14, 2011, 15:22 GMT)

It's a Rahul Dravid masterclass in here! Just like his batting, this piece has got class written all over it! Just like you would want to see his batting over and over again, you would want to read this article over and over again!

Posted by suvisuper on (December 14, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

An Incredible Speech.. truly reflects what cricket is in India and to India.. Rahul as always has made India proud!!

Posted by rajesh_y on (December 14, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

totally agree with @Taruntejk have done the same myself just to comment on this article. Superb writing...and truly inspirational.

Posted by Shhy on (December 14, 2011, 15:07 GMT)

Wowww.. Such a wonderful speech which reflects our country and the culture from which the players come from.. Hats off Rahul Dravid.. Wish to see the video of this speech..

Posted by coolsri77 on (December 14, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

Immaculate, Impeccable exactly the way the guy is!!RD - You have made every Indian and all cricket fans proud. Great depiction of details and connecting the dots. We are blessed to have witnessed a role model like you! Hats off!!!

Posted by varunrallapalli on (December 14, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

Excellent speech by THE WALL.....speeches like these help budding cricketers connect to the game even more completely and easily. He is not only an ambassador of Indian cricket, but ambassador of" Gentleman's game" tag cricket enjoys.There are very few cricketers who have clarity of thought as Rahul Dravid has.Its a rarity. His fluency in language, his brought up and his down-to-earth attitude has kept him in good stead through out his career. Hope his form never deserts him and God let him play for India for ages to come...

Posted by Edassery on (December 14, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

What an immaculate speech! Rahul Dravid is the epitome of gentleman-ship and professionalism as we all knew and in this speech he brought out that different angle, diversity, passion, emotion and struggle that every Indian of his generation and before went through before becoming a cricket super power (and soon to be an economic super power). He blended it all together very well. I have heard a lot of Indian cricketers (who could speak that is) talking more on cricket, business and money (and of course cricket is religion and all that stereotyped stories) but never this touchy and passionate. A true role model for youngsters!

Posted by kk_krishnan on (December 14, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

need video of this speech

Posted by Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on (December 14, 2011, 14:51 GMT)

Way to go Rahul. You have hit the nail on the head. Loved your speach.

Posted by dravidgood on (December 14, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

well-being of the game from experience and a matter-of-fact description of the current affairs with the occasional expert-advice which he is legitimately entitled to. None better than the following in my humble opinion: "One of the things, Bradman said has stayed in my mind. That the finest of athletes had, along with skill, a few more essential qualities: to conduct their life with dignity, with integrity, with courage and modesty. All this he believed, were totally compatible with pride, ambition, determination and competitiveness. Maybe those words should be put up in cricket dressing rooms all over the world." If the above were to become the code of ethics hung in every Cricket dressing room, I guess a lot of the issues would settle for themselves in some measure. In any case, it is a good advice. He represented Indian cricket pretty well without sounding jingoistic and still communicated the plethora of issues, passion and emotions which unfold in the backdrop of the story

Posted by dravidgood on (December 14, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

I wonder how many other current cricketers could have fit the bill for the esteemed regard, knowledge and adroity for a Bradman reminiscence Orator. None flash automatically. The complete flavors of his personality were on display through the piece and so much so that he threatened to steal the show from the reverence of the great man himself, not purposefully so I am sure. His stately disposition was evident in the opening lines vis. "I understand that I am supposed to speak about cricket and issues in the game - and I will.". It was no leisuserly chit-chat and he set out his erudite stand at the outset. Not that there was any shortage of humor, the self-deprecating brand of which is so easily and fittingly borne by the modern great now. Then there was the profound knowledge about issues ranging from world wars to pre-independence anecdotes delving into the psyche of the then Indian fan and man. Of course there were handy and may I say indispensible suggestions for the future

Posted by Stump-vision on (December 14, 2011, 14:46 GMT)

This will go in as one of the great speeches of all times, subject not withstanding. There is substance, flair, wit, passion, pride, reverence, analysis, insight & far-sight. Sir Don would've approved everything he said. Cricket will still be hale and healthy in 2027 if we take heed. I'd be 60 then and I'd like to go to a World Cup Test Tournament with my grand children and say Rahul got it right!

Posted by cricketfan09 on (December 14, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

A speech for the ages. Rahul- take a bow. Just like any of his innings, one can only imagine the preparation that must have gone in for this talk. This is certainly not ghost-written. Why am I not surprised at this excellence? He is very proud of India, and I am very, very proud of him.

Posted by vparisa on (December 14, 2011, 14:42 GMT)

Love the way RD takes dig at Warne and Sachin. Only he could have done it so smoothly. Amazing speech, no one could have explained the emotions Indian cricketers go through. Hats off to RD, best #3 bat or best bat since Don Bradman!!

Posted by Kiwi-Pat on (December 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

The Wall, a true ambassador to the game. Hopefully will be read by the youth cricketers of today and realise they are the future of tomorrow for this most noble of sports.

Posted by gestapo on (December 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

for the first time, i see all the readers with the same opinion,,RD, u r a man of real class, indian cricket is honored to have men like u.

Posted by Taruntejk on (December 14, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

I always read the columns by Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar and many, but never bothered to comment on anyone's. Hence I never bothered to register in the cricinfo's site. But today, after reading this, i got registered to comment on this. By this you should be knowing how much I got moved by this particular, i can say, Master-piece. For sometime I wondered if I was reading any motivational speakers writing. Only one word, Brilliant!

Posted by matbhuvi on (December 14, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

wow...what an ambassador for cricket

Posted by Muyeen on (December 14, 2011, 14:28 GMT)

one awesome speech.. starting with non cricketing similarities between Ind and Aus and then connecting it to cricket, wonder how long he prepared for this speech, explains his work ethics beyond cricket as well.very rarely u read or hear a speech n feel there is nothing u want to change in it. Till today i wanted to bat like Dravid and now I wanna speak like him..

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (December 14, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

Wow! Simply brilliant!! I am amazed at how well he has conveyed the real sentiments of the fans and players about the game outside the TV deals, viewership and the big contracts. Kudos to Rahul Dravid.

Posted by cooberblob on (December 14, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

What a marvelous talk. I particularly liked the first bit which acknowledges the strong link Australia and India (and other commonwealth countries) have had with each other long before Indian Independence. As a teacher I have seen educational systems devalue and almost obliterate the teaching of history. Not many kids or adults would now know about the battles of El Alemein, the campaigns in Syria and so on. The Indian 4th Division for example has a glorious tradition just like the Australian 6th, 7th, 9th divisions and the New Zealand 2nd Division. These troops when not fighting would often play cricket to break the boredom. The resilience of these people against the odds in many occasions reflect in cricket. The tradition of comradeship is there on the cricket field. Bring on the Aussie - India games, in all forms but particularly test cricket, that is where names will be remembered and thankyou Rahul for also breaking down some of the stereotypes of Indian Cricket.

Posted by RD-7 on (December 14, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

Classsic ..After such a long time really enjoyed reading out the article...Rahul Dravid its a sheer Test Cricketer and True Lover of the Sport, the length of speech and top quality of entertaining and depth of knowledge he has shared is Worth my 30mins of time...Mindblowing stuff and cant think of anyone better than Him to conduct the oration did Justice to world Cricket alongside his perspective..!!! Love you Rahul for being a Idol in all this years and for future. I cant see you away from World Cricket be it 2027 ..lolzz

Posted by Prashanth_SR on (December 14, 2011, 13:54 GMT)

Rahul Dravid, is not just a great cricketer but a great student of the game. Cricket is in his blood. He has spoken about past, present and future of this game in the most befitting manner. I get a feeling that Rahul will serve this game, till his last breath in whatever capacity. Wishing you all best....forever!!!

Posted by N.Sundararajan on (December 14, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

Salute Rahul Dravid ! Hats off to him---several times ! Professor Emeritus of Cricket ! Absolutely brilliant for the spirit of cricket, the historical references, the clear views on the future of the game, what not ! Undoubtedly one of the finest STATESMAN to have played the game, and amongst the best from India along with Kumble, to hold India's honour high ! Hope the Australians understand India and Indians better, and emulate our dignity, and honour. Every Indian should be proud of Rahul Dravid ! Rahul , you have made us hold our heads high with your game and behaviour always, and you have done better once again, with your speech ! Thank the Bradman foundation for the invitation and the opportunity to teach the cricketing world !

Posted by sarveshgolechha on (December 14, 2011, 13:49 GMT)

Mr. Rahul Sharad Dravid, you had so much of respect already and now...I have no words to explain the happy feeling i have, amazing truly.... hope everu one reads this and required changes are made to improve the game in all corners :) and all the very best for the series ahead.

Posted by Jagdishbhuvaneshwari on (December 14, 2011, 13:48 GMT)

Thats Rahul for u, first foreigner to deliver "Bradman Oration" in Australia. U ask him do anything, he does it in the same way as he bats. Purely technical. Speaks about Bradman, how Indian cricket evolves from small states, future of cricket. Its Awesome..

Posted by DeepakPalli on (December 14, 2011, 13:47 GMT)

Finest and the Greatest Speech by a Cricket. This speech looks like a classic RD Cover drive. No words to describe the speech. Long speech which was never boring.

Well Said About the beauty of CRICKET.

Posted by rahul_sai on (December 14, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

i can visualize, he was wearing an impeccable black or dark blue suit if it had to be very formal or a neatly pressed half slack shirt with dark coloured trouser, not even a single hair out of place.this man is deeply in love with the country and the game that he represents. thank you sir, for honouring cricket.

Posted by Kaze on (December 14, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

Speech is too long it drags along a bit.

Posted by Magchennai on (December 14, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

Take a bow Mr.Dravid... Like every other fan I want India to win this series, but lets hope the bad blood between the team is less and the aggression remain only when the game is on. All the best. A very good advertisement before the series.

Posted by SukkaPunk on (December 14, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

Fantastic speech Rahul! You have made us extremely proud as a nation, great research on the past and on Bradman as well. I hope the other Indian cricketers on tour were in the audience to appreciate this piece of oration. Hats of to you maga!

Posted by Jagdishbhuvaneshwari on (December 14, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

Thats Rahul for u, first foreigner to deliver "Bradman Oration" in Australia. U ask him do anything, he does it in the same way as he bats. Purely technical. Speaks about Bradman, how Indian cricket evolves from small states, future of cricket. Its Awesome..

Posted by rahul_suda on (December 14, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

"On tour, I must point out, we don't attack fans or do drugs or get into drunken theatrics. " he backed his team mates abt that praveen n co..beating afan n the night before sachin scored 176 against aus where all others took some old pics..created as if they were of that night.. Rahul knows these players personally..he must have known the truth.. so he backed all the players with that sentence...wonderful from RD..!!

Posted by thinktank on (December 14, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

I want to put it on record... AND WHAT A RECORD... that Mr. Rahul Dravid is the only cricketer in the world to have more than 30,000 BALLS FACED against his name. He is Truly deserving to be Giving us such an informative oration on Cricket. I believe that test Cricket is about Spending time in the middle... and if number of balls faced are a simple indicator of this, then Mr. Rahul Dravid's number of more than 30,000 is 3000 best than the next best, a Gentleman named Mr. Sachin Tendulkar. If Sachin's Achievements are lauded the world over... then the Gavaskars and the Shastris and the Boycotts of the world who were always trying to stay in the middle and Face Balls, Should be Tomtoming this distinguished achievement of Mr.Rahul Dravid. TAKE A BOW, MR. DRAVID. BRADMANESQUE IS PASSE. DRAVIDESQUE IS THE NEW EPITOME OF CRICKETING GLORY. THE WALL OF CRICKET.

Posted by rahul_suda on (December 14, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

The Way he explained abt indian cricket to erase the false notion people from outside country have that indian cricket is power n money is fascinating...!! Sure that power n money are tiny parts of the large picture of indian cricket..take a bow Dravid..!!

Posted by rahul_suda on (December 14, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

He Brought in all the issues cricket is facing now...and he gave the best possible solutions to each....His idea on how to balance three formats ll be seriously considered by was a superb suggestion..!! The way he suggested all the players to small sacrifices related to their privacy to help anti corruption board is fascinating...!!

Posted by Jagdishbhuvaneshwari on (December 14, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

Thats Rahul for u, first foreigner to deliver "Bradman Oration" in Australia. U ask him do anything, he does it in the same way as he bats. Purely technical. Speaks about Bradman, how Indian cricket evolves from small states, future of cricket. Its Awesome..

Posted by Alexander19 on (December 14, 2011, 13:05 GMT)

Awesome speech from the Royal Wall!! One of the best i have read. Hats off to you sir!

Posted by rahul_suda on (December 14, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

" the fan has sent us a message and we must listen." "Everything that has given cricket its power and influence in the world of sports has started from that fan in the stadium"

Wow...wonderfully summed up the issue...!! It's high time bcci start producing better facilities in the stadiums..!!

Posted by kriskingle on (December 14, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

Fantastic.....One of the finest cricket speeches of my generation.....RSD just goes from one laurel to another....these are indeed his Golden Years.

Posted by Smithie on (December 14, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

A true gentleman who has the respect of the cricket world. It is unfortunate that he did not touch on the DRS controversy and reiterate his previously expressed support for the full use of technology. The BCCI stance puts him in an invidious position on this topic - I think the cricket community knows what Bradman's stance on the subject would have been.

Posted by rtom on (December 14, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

Oooh.. once again as smooth as his cricket, this speech.. marvelous ! cricinfo, please upload the video of this speech too.

Posted by Kumar_NJ_USA on (December 14, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

Dravid shows his class again! For those cricketers who want time off (from playing too much IPL), this should be a must-read as they're beginning to show signs of being bigger than the game.

Posted by skepticaloptimist on (December 14, 2011, 12:48 GMT)

RD does it again. A great human - and it would be a redundancy to call him a great cricketer. @atrivedi101 - What uneducated comment. This speech was probably written by a speechwriter - not to take anything away from RD, though. Moreover, how does delivering a better speech prove that one is a better cricketer than someone else. If you logic were valid, I'd be much better cricketer than both RD and SRT because I have a bachelor's degree in rhetoric, and I'm a professional speechwriting and rhetoric consultant.

Posted by amanarora on (December 14, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

Well, now I can say that Dravid can speak for my life.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

No man could have better summed up this game than the legend himself, take a bow Sir Rahul Dravid!! I feel delighted to be an Indian because of this..

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 14, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

A great speech from inarguably the most erudite, well read and humorous sportsman of our times who is also an alltime great in the great game of cricket. This oration has everything in it that will appeal not just to Indians because it is so contextual to the game.Rahul seeks to correct the many incorrect impressions that people carry with them. Like the IPL gave the opportunity for players from all over the world to come together in pusuit of a game, this lecture will show everyone that cricket is a sport to promote harmony and respect not an arena to exchange hostilities all the time. The fact is that Rahul has pedigree, and should have gone to Oxford or Cambridge if he had not played this game. Like Mike Brearley, he is one who thinks all the time of the game not just the precision of cover drives. He towers above all in many ways. This oration reflects his great family background and upbringing apart from the sheer mental depth of this true legend.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 14, 2011, 12:30 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is my favourite Indian players and easily the best Indian batsman of all time. This speech is brilliant.

Posted by pratap_wagle on (December 14, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

One more masterpiece by Rahul Dravid.. Full of emotions, facts, informative, advise to ICC/organizers, young cricketers.. One of the finest speeches I came across.. felt every bit of it.. Thank you Cricket Australia and Rahul Dravid.

Posted by ankit123123 on (December 14, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Hats off to Dravid. This piece shows his deep love and understanding of the game. He appreciates it. To Eben99, yes, the supposedly illiterate folk of the sub-continent can speak and write with eloquence and effect. In fact, this piece is quite a lot more refreshing and original than some of the trash that comes out of the mouths of many an Australian player both on and off the field.

I cannot help think, that by talking about playing in the spirit of the game, Rahul may have been alluding to deterioration of on-field language and spirit that seems to be rearing its ugly head. Names that come into mind are Johnson, Watson, Steyn and Harbhajan who notoriously mouth off at any given opportunity.

Posted by Gaurav_agent47 on (December 14, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

Absolutely amazin'. its about time d world stops accusin' us of d strong-arm attitude. Dravid has proven a point, by bringing about d emotions of the people in India towards Cricket, and what goes about in gettin' 2 d top, d struggle, d difficulties n everything. Also, like a true gentleman, Dravid showed his genuine concerns towards the pothole dat too much cricket is takin' the game into ( even in India ). all in all a fabulous speech, given by an even fab player. Hats off to you Dravid. u make us proud with ur calm, undeterred attitude, and true gentlemanship n sportsmanship. Way to go. May u score loads'a runs in d upcoming series and may Sachin put d demons aside and get d 100th ton out of his way, n play freely thereafter. Sir Don, u'll b remembered, always.

Posted by elsieb66 on (December 14, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

A fine speech from a fine man. Well said, every last word.

Posted by Ranju_Manya on (December 14, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

brilliant speech...reflects power of education...great knowledge about cricket history..As far as an Indian fan considered truly emotional one ..Hats off...

Posted by Every_run_is_important on (December 14, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

Absolutely brilliant speech!!!! His simplicity reflects in his speech. Dravid is a true ambassador of cricket. Each and every facet of cricketers life can be seen in the speech, right from his early struggle till his retirement and beyond... Dravid, you won't be disappointed in 2027 since you have set your legacy on the game and many cricketers take you as a role model...

Posted by rajeshanand on (December 14, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

One of the best and fascinating speech about Indian Cricket and Indian Fans...WOW!!!

Posted by RajeshNaik on (December 14, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

Brilliant. The wall always stands tall, no matter where.

Posted by van_hauz on (December 14, 2011, 11:59 GMT)

@atrivedi101 Can Dravid paint fantastic pictures? No. That's why Jack Russel is a better cricketer than Dravid.

Come on, atrivedi101. Why can't we just appreciate the speech as an interesting and timely narrative about cricket and applaud it for what it is. Why does it always turn into a "X is better than Y" slugfest? Tomorrow, Gautam Gambhir's wife will give birth to a child and people like you will be yelling about how Sachin's kids are better looking.

It's time to step back from the rat-race mentality that infests this world and acknowledge that not everything is a "X Vs Y" contest.

Posted by kantharaju on (December 14, 2011, 11:54 GMT)

Mr Rahul Dravid, you are a noble person & role model for youngsters. Your speech was very informative, good presentation & suggestions.

Posted by candyfloss on (December 14, 2011, 11:54 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is the embodiment of an utter proffessional.He has touched upon many facets of cricket and why Tendulkar is so revered here in India. Reading about their personal struggles before they became cricketers was also touching.And what a rich tribute to a legend like Bradman.I hope the series is played in good spirit this time round and there is a healthy exchange of views between the Australian fan and Indian fans(which probably wont happen).It will also be an oppurtunity for us Indian fans to shed our image of being parochial.Looking forward to a good and tightly fought series.

Posted by Hanif.G on (December 14, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

Exactly what your would expect from Rahul Dravid. Exceptional cricketer and exceptional human and above all a very proud Indian.

Posted by Manku_Timma on (December 14, 2011, 11:50 GMT)

One of the finest speeches to reflect true Indian cricket and sentiments with India cricket to outside world. Rahul Dravid is a true gentleman and great ammabasdor for cricket

Posted by Eben99 on (December 14, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

never knew guys in the sub-continent could deliver such wonderful speeches... so witty.... hats off to you, sir!!!

Posted by serious-am-i on (December 14, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

Just to say in one word - fabulous speech. But honestly, I wonder how many got bored in the arena listening to such a lengthy speech like he mentioned of his batting when people get bored. Just hope there is no more nasty incidents between these 2 countries.

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (December 14, 2011, 11:40 GMT)

Wow ! Dravid does it again fantastically , with longevity and with brilliance.

Take a bow !

Posted by BeeArr on (December 14, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

What a brilliant speech. This was the first sane answer on ODI cricket from anyone in cricket. Rahul Dravid for PM, anyone!

Posted by nvngupta on (December 14, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

brilliant speech, full of emotion and truly highlighting indian passion about cricket

Posted by sameer997 on (December 14, 2011, 11:23 GMT)

cricinfo pls get a video btw a great speech

Posted by Ronsars on (December 14, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

One of the finest speech ever....Enjoyed it just the way i enjoyed Sanga's speech......These speeches will enable cricket fans outside of subcontinent to know as what cricket really means to subcontinent fans.........Take a bow Rahul one of the best down to earth simple cricketer India has ever produced

Posted by atrivedi101 on (December 14, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

Can Sachin give such a speech? No. That's why Dravid is a better cricketer than Sachin.

Posted by Anands06 on (December 14, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

Its amazing to know that how much Aussies were loved in India during pre-independence time.....all credit goes to the gentleman Rahul Dravid for bringing this history to us.

Posted by ashlatchem on (December 14, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

Absolutely Superb. Rahul Dravid show's again why he is considered a gentleman all over the world. Inspring stuff!

Posted by prasanth.kongati on (December 14, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

"This could only happen in Indian cricket. Except that these two guys came up with a 100-run partnership. Their common language was cricket and that worked out just fine...This explains the story of indian cricket!!

Rahul Dravid, your speech is long remembered by many people and thanks for representing indian audience as well. You very well understood the emotions of indian spectator. Yes, the lightening faces that you see while travellling in streets of citiies is all what cricket in india means.

Posted by Sanj747 on (December 14, 2011, 11:11 GMT)

This man is brilliant. A true ambassador and a gentleman. Just great to see. Sangakarra is much similar and Steve Waugh a lover of the game is another. Hard to find cricketers in the modern game who have that affinity like Dravid, Sangakarra and Steve Waugh in the past.

Posted by Sudhakar86 on (December 14, 2011, 11:01 GMT)

I remember the excitement that went through Indian cricket when we heard the news that Bradman had seen Sachin Tendulkar bat on TV and thought he batted like him. It was more than mere approval, it was as if the great Don had finally, passed on his torch. Not to an Aussie or an Englishman or a West Indian. But to one of our own.

Posted by sasimyname on (December 14, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

It took me through a sea of emotions. Fantastic. Kumar Sangakkara at the MCC and Rahul Dravid here have made the people from the sub-continent proud. Thank you MCC and the members of the Sir Donald Bradman Oration committee for the invitation to these humble sportsmen.

Posted by SibaMohanty on (December 14, 2011, 10:57 GMT)

Enriching. Enlightening. Rahul Dravid's speech was just like his batting - uplifting. To the true legend of the game, a salute...

Posted by usernames on (December 14, 2011, 10:57 GMT)

Wow, I read it all. One word: respect. Every young cricketer out there needs to read this.

Posted by arya_underfoot on (December 14, 2011, 10:52 GMT)

awesome choice for the bradman oration. go rahul!!

i particularly enjoyed his veiled remarks about modern cricketers whingeing about their workloads, and the comparison to sir donald who had to work to earn a living. nice one...

Posted by dravidthebest on (December 14, 2011, 10:50 GMT)

Brilliant speech by a brilliant player. Something which is a must read for all ardent followers of Cricket!!

Posted by rawr94 on (December 14, 2011, 10:49 GMT)

Brilliant... If the tickets weren't so much I would have definitely gone :L

Posted by Biophysicist on (December 14, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

A highly impressive speech! I think Dravid has given excellent advise to both cricket administrators and players. His description of what Indian cricket is and how India and Australia are linked through cricket are really enlightening. Our salutations to Rahul Sharad Dravid!

Posted by Imz25 on (December 14, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

Another thing I'd like to add is that Sir Don's fielding is not spoken of much due to his enormous batting ability. He had a bullet arm, and I remember that the first real impact he made on the great Wally Hammond was when he ran him out from the outfield with a superb throw. Sir Don was also known to be a very fast runner between the wicket and also covered the outfield quicker than anyone from his team. This was mainly because he had a brilliant work ethic ever since he was a kid and focused on practicing like no other before or after him had ever done.

Posted by philipbkk on (December 14, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Absolutely brilliant speech...emotional,tacit and to the point. Much like his batting, dravid has won me over with his oration, i hope the younger lot learns from him.

Posted by anurag2704 on (December 14, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

Too good.I wonder if this speech was prepared by RD on his own or he took some external help as well.I listened to Colin Cowdrey lecture delivered by Sanga recently at MCC and he too was at his eloquent best.We need cricketers like them.

Posted by Imz25 on (December 14, 2011, 10:31 GMT)

Rahul Dravid totally deserves this honor of delivering a speech at the Sir Donald Bradman oration. Sir Don was a cricketer like no other. His cricketing ability almost seemed supernatural. In an era where so many people could not put bread on the table for their family due to the Great Depression, Sir Donald provided them the glimpse of happiness they needed by performing day in, day out for his country. It's amazing how brilliantly consistent he was even after the fibrositis and appendix (quite serious in those days) problems he went through during his career. It's unfortunate that he lost almost a decade of International Cricket dude to the World War II otherwise who knows how many runs he could have ended with. One can argue that he didn't even play at the peak of his career due to the years lost.One thing we know for sure is that he was one incredibly gifted athlete, the fittest and one of the fastest athletes on a cricket field ever witnessed with a really intelligent cricket mind

Posted by Imz25 on (December 14, 2011, 10:24 GMT)

Rahul Dravid totally deserves this honour of delivering a speech at the Sir Donald Bradman Oration. Sir Don was like no other cricketer. He was a complete phenomena who's cricketing ability seemed supernatural. He carried the expectations of so many in the era of the Great Depression when so many hardly could put bread on the table and

Posted by TheCentralGovernment on (December 14, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

Excellent read. Is there a video ?

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