Rahul Dravid's retirement March 9, 2012

'I have never stopped trying'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Here is the text of Rahul Dravid's statement at his farewell press conference in Bangalore on March 9.

I would like to announce my retirement from international and domestic first-class cricket. It is 16 years since I played my first Test match for India and today I feel it is time to move on. Once I was like every other boy in India, with a dream of playing for my country. Yet I could never have imagined a journey so long and so fulfilling.

No dream is ever chased alone. As I look back, I have many people to thank for teaching me and believing in me. My junior coaches in Bangalore and at various junior national camps inculcated in me a powerful love of the game, which has always stayed with me. My coaches at the international level have added to my craft and helped shape my personality. The physios and trainers worked hard to keep me fit - not an easy job - and allowed me to play late into my 30s.

The selectors, who rarely receive any credit in India, occasionally had more confidence in me than I had in myself and I am grateful for that. The various captains I played under offered me guidance and inspired me.

The media has been kind to me and I have respect for their craft.

The KSCA and BCCI have provided me a platform and the facilities to play the game.

Most of all I have to thank the teams I played with. I was lucky in my early years to play for a Karnataka team that was trying to forge itself into a strong side and they were years of fun and learning. In the Indian team, I was fortunate to be part of a wonderful era when India played some of its finest cricket at home and abroad. Many of my teammates have become legends, not just in India but in the wider cricketing world. I admired them, learnt from them and I leave the game with wonderful memories and strong friendships. It is a great gift to have.

A career in sport is almost impossible to manage without the support, and guidance, and reassurance of family and friends. During tough times, and there always are, this is whom we go to. I found strength and encouragement from my parents and brother and they created around me a positive environment which was essential to my success.

My wife, Vijeeta, has been a remarkable partner in my journey. She has made sacrifices in her own career and has almost been a single parent as she brought up our children alone as I travelled abroad to play. Whenever challenges appeared, she was always there, as sounding board, as ally and as guide. Being away from my family became harder and harder through the years and I look forward now to spending time at home and doing the simple things, like just taking my sons to school.

Finally I would like to thank the Indian cricket fan, both here and across the world. The game is lucky to have you and I have been lucky to play before you. To represent India, and thus to represent you, has been a privilege and one which I have always taken seriously. My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.

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  • Randolph on March 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Dravid, the greatest Indian batsman of all time. Batting at 3 and not chasing personal records, and a true champion.

  • sachin on March 10, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    The end of an era in Indian cricket....! Now no need to get up at 5 in the morning to watch a boxing day test match. Test cricket will never be same again...... No one can come even close to this legend as far as the way to approach a test innings..... Saddest feeling in my mind since I have started following cricket....!!! No words... All the Best Rahul......we miss your cover drive .....

  • Sagar on March 10, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    An Institution closes down... Watching Indian Test Cricket will never be the same.. Rahul, You always will remain the Greatest unsung Hero..

    In an era of attacking and glamour ridden cricket, You were the only one who showed the appetite to play the traditional patient Batsmanship.. Its not a surprise to me of you opting this simple yet dignified farewell..

    I just hope to see or hear from you around.. Cricket can never be complete without a mention of Rahul Dravid.. Please do not keep yourself completely shut off from the Game..

    We still NEED our WALL to look towards to... :)

  • GSP on March 9, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    Hats off to you Sir... I feel proud to be a Rahul dravid fan :)

  • Rakesh on March 9, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    The Wall was bigger and larger then the Great Wall, it shielded the numbers 3,4,5,and 6 from the pacers like Malinga, Lee and Broad. he was GOOD and still is GOOD, he just fell prey to people like Mr Harsha Bhoglae and team a team of self created experts who have no Practical Knowledge of the Game. First they praised him and know they criticize him... and when he hung the Boots they are again praises of him... Vultures are extinct from India but not these self styled critics who use there angrezi to finish carriers... why do players and US listen or even read them... they are a useless bunch of people who survive on such extraordinary events to force people like Dravid to say quits. Dravid got carried away and has quit the Game but wish he could listen to his fans and not to such goons who make a living out of criticizing Great players.... Dravid I know its difficult... but could you please please please reconsider.... there cant be a test match without you :(

  • Shueb on March 9, 2012, 19:09 GMT


  • Arvind on March 9, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    You will be missed Mr.Dravid. one of the last great gentleman cricketers. thanks a lot for all the memories.

  • D on March 9, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Nothing like getting applauded by your teammates and members from the other team while you are walking off the field after you announce your retirement. Dravid sadly missed that great feeling. But then that's who he always was. Never did he seek attention or adulation. Great cricketer and a wonderful person.

  • Himanish on March 9, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    By virtue and value, Rahul Dravid signs off as a true legend, a gift to the nation and the game. In times, when in the game, as in the wider world, we drift away from honesty and truth, he was, and will remain, a shining symbol of purity and class, an everlasting inspiration to generations of cricketers, and men to come. His final paraph is as elegant and gentlemanly as his career, through which I feel he has always lived in the shadow of players deemed greater. Although Tendulkar may be venerated much more, it was always Dravid who steered the team out of dire straits. A true embodiment of nobility, humility and the Spirit of Cricket. With tears in my eyes, I salute, like millions of other admirers, the best cricketer India has seen...

  • Vishwa on March 9, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    I had no other reason but Rahul Dravid to watch Test matches, especially when India used to play abroad. But, now I don't think there isn't any reason to watch Test matches again. And, may be he did the right thing by calling his retirement but peoples shouldn't blame only Dravid or seniors for bad performance in Australia ... Even youngsters had done nothing special. No one can fill his spot and No. 3 position is vacant. The class is gone forever. Hopefully, we get a chance to watch him in upcoming IPL 2012. Don't understand what to write. Just HATS OFF to GR8 LEGEND RAHUL DRAVID :-) We enjoyed every moment you gave us. Thanks!!

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