Rahul Dravid's retirement

'I have never stopped trying'

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 9, 2012

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

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

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman walk off the field at the end of the day's play, India v West Indies, 1st Test, 2nd day, Delhi, November 7, 2011
'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' © AFP
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by RandyOZ 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.

Posted by sachinbg83 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 .....

Posted by WithLove-Cricket 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... :)

Posted by GSP17 on (March 9, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

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

Posted by ipextn 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 :(

Posted by Shueb on (March 9, 2012, 19:09 GMT)


Posted by Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow 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.

Posted by thednr83 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.

Posted by him1618 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...

Posted by anonymous90 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!!

Posted by harryrockz on (March 9, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Hats off to the one of the greatest batsman in the world. You will missed from the Indian team. We are really sorry for our eyes as they cannot be feasted with your glorious strokes in the middle hereafter. Really I stood up saluted him after reading his statement. Sorry to miss the program live, but had I seen it, would have cried with it. Still holding my tears for this great player. My first steps towards cricket was in 2001 when Dravid and Laxman shared that epic partnership in Kolkata that changed the Indian team's performance. And in ODIs, it was the great partnership with Ganguly against Srilanka in the 1999 WC. Thanks for entertaining us. We are with you always. A ROYAL SALUTE.

Posted by swaroop677 on (March 9, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

you are a true legend. the greatest trier always. world cricket will be provide of you dravid. the wall had always stand tall. we miss you. i have been seeing test cricket since 1997. iam a very very big fan of DRAVID the wall. I will tell you i won't watch the test cricket from now onwards. SALUTE TO THE GREAT LEGEND RAHUL

Posted by shankyforu on (March 9, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

Finally, the perforated wall with big cracks and holes has fallen.. Good days to Indian cricket shall return soon probably.. All the best team India

Posted by pruthvi_b on (March 9, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

This is always a special day for me because of my sisters Birthday and another reason to remember this day (For a sad reason) "The Great Wall of India" has retired. Loved every bit of your batting and your batting is the coaching manual for the youngsters. Hope you have wonderful time in the Future and Thank you so much for the Wonderful Memories....!!! :(

Posted by Charindra on (March 9, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

I am Sri Lankan, and the rivalry between SL and India needs no elaboration. However, Rahul Dravid was one player I always rooted for as one of my own, because of his simplicity, work ethic and selflessness. And he played the game in the right spirit, and now is probably being made a scapegoat for India's abysmal performances in Australia. Everybody seems to have conveniently forgotten his contributions in England though. Oh well, Sachin isn't going to retire, so I guess somebody had to.

Posted by mgsub on (March 9, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Rahul Bhai transcended cricket. He was the game's greatest ambassador. Sure, Sachin Tendulkar will be remembered as the game's greatest batsman, but to me, Rahul Dravid will be the game's greatest role model. In a game where people prefer to sledge to get ahead, Rahul went about his game quietly and let his bat do the talking. This is the end of an era -- we will never see a test cricketer the likes of Rahul Dravid again.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (March 9, 2012, 12:08 GMT)


Posted by manu211 on (March 9, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Champion Of cricket. A true Legend

Posted by johnnylv on (March 9, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Shows the character of the noble person he is. It is a loss to the Indian Cricket , losing a true cricketer whose passion towards the game is unmatchable with anyone else in the current team. Already cricket has lost the glory of yester years, where it was played for the sake of the game and not just for churning out money. Quality of the game has already gone down considerably thanks to all the dramas like IPL and thanks to Mr.Dravid for announcing his retirement before being shunted out of the team, and also relieving us from watching the game now on wards. Happy retired life Mr.Rahul.

Posted by athwinner on (March 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

true gentleman, great player and absolute gem of personality, thanks sir.

Posted by manu211 on (March 9, 2012, 11:47 GMT)


Posted by Sabss on (March 9, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

I wish you should have walked out of a stadium applauded by the whole world and the team. You deserve more than that... you were the "REAL WARRIOR" of the team. Waiting for the Junior "WALL" :)

Posted by SudeepSharma_Nepal on (March 9, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

He lives an individual truely immaculate on all grounds of life. Take a bow for what have done and wish u a very happy future.

Posted by drnaveed on (March 9, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

yes, he was a thorough gentleman. i thought laxman would have come up with the retirement plan first.rahul just failed in his last series, along with his other teammates.he was a true legend, and rightly deserves to be called "SIR".

Posted by Farce-Follower on (March 9, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

What a beautifully crafted farewell note. Respect for a legend who has played in the finest traditions and spirit of the game. You will be missed, Rahul Dravid.

Posted by CivilGaurav on (March 9, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Rahul, you have always been my favorite cricket. You are the most unselfish and humble cricketer and clearly the best test batsman ever for India. Like the little kid in the movie Fanaa, I too think you are Mr Dependable. I would have liked to see you play many more innings, but I think your timing of retirement is correct for the sole reason that India has no overseas tours for the next two year. Overseas you are indispensable. Salute to the greatest ever test batsman of India from an Indian!

Posted by gmsjgmsj on (March 9, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

I'm 2 years younger than Rahul. I dont play cricket for India. But i do play street cricket every week with a tennis ball. I live for that weekly game, a game which gives me so much pleasure and hope for the next week ahead. As everyone knows, there are strict silly rules in street cricket where you cant hit over the top. If you do so, you are out. I had a totally wretched formative years in this type of cricket because i seldom pinched singles but looked to hit out. I was the ugly duckling of my team. It all changed when i watched Rahul bat that day in Eden in 2001. I understood that, whatever talent or technique one had in whatever form of cricket played, one must have tempermant. All else is worthless if you cant measure up against yourself - essentially cricket is about battling yourself! As a humble tennis ball cricketer who learnt from Rahul on how to play cricket in street cricket, i heartily salute the Officer and Gentleman of Indian Cricket. God bless !

Posted by Sundar217 on (March 9, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

I have grown as a cricket fan watching Rahul's career. It was exactly 1996 when I started watching almost all the international matches! The main reason for the Indian fan like me to have such a passion on game of cricket is because of this living legend.

I used to inspire lot from this idol. Long live 'Rock Rahul' Proud to be a fan of this great personality.

Posted by matbhuvi on (March 9, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

If Tendulkar is the person who restored some pride in Indian cricket, Dravid is the person who took the stage to next level. We are fortunate to live and watch the era of Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid. I am not sure whether the coming generation will get a privilege of watching batting of this highest calibre...with nerves of steel...enormous dedication...fight for all the 5 days. India never had a quality opening pair before Shewag/Gambhir. That means, Dravid is almost always the man for crisis. Fulcrum of Indian batting line up has now retired. I gave great respect to this man like every other Indian cricket fan. I have seen cricket fans who hate Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly...but i am yet to see a fan who say i don't like Dravid. This is a no mean feat. I can't remember his records when he retired. I can remember only his dedication.

Posted by paulantony on (March 9, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

A perfect Role Model for the Game of Cricket... Will miss you for sure... Jammieee.

Posted by Raj.82 on (March 9, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

I thought i will stop watching test cricket after retirement of 3 legends... now Dravid started my count down! ALL THE BEST LEGEND. Since i started watching and playing cricket I learnt a lot of technique watching you on TV. Stance like Sachin, PATIENCE LIKE DRAVID, Class like Laxman.. I really miss your play during next test match.......HATS OFF to you LEGEND and Wish you all the best for all your future endeavors.

Posted by Noball_Specialist on (March 9, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

Dravid is the type of player that has taken absolutely nothing for granted. Anyone who has seen him over the years has seen his determination. You just know he's not about to 'give his wicket away'. But, you only have to check the stats to understand his skill as a player. But, what have definitely become even more precious is the fact that Dravid is a true gentleman of the game. He represents more than just a batsman - which he is one of the best. But his attitude and personality and of course handling of foreign media is absolutely amazing. I'm glad that he went on his own terms and not those of any one else, but sad that the game of cricket will be a lot poorer without the delicate but perfectly positioned and timed shots to cover.

Dravid we as cricket fans, thank you for filling the game of cricket with such rich content. I might be Pakistani, but, I love the game.

Posted by candyfloss on (March 9, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Thank You Rahul Dravid for representing our country.You have graced Indian cricket with your presence over the years.I had the pleasure of watching your entire career.Its the right time to hang up your boots once again thank you for all the memories.

Posted by chandra.bairi on (March 9, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

You are a jewel of Indian Cricket!! Thanks for the wonderful memories. We love you!!! All the very best for your future.

Posted by kartikeysoni on (March 9, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

thanks for the memories rahul, you gave us a lot of them and all of them so pleasing and wonderful. ihope that you will continue to contribute to indian cricket in some way. goodbye your rocked

Posted by pitch_it_up on (March 9, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

Can't believe this is happening. Going to miss the a true cricketer..an embodiment of Spirit of the sport...a true gentleman. Cricket has become poorer today...the last of the old world cricket where the Spirit, Technique, Classism is held in high regards. Truly, this is the end of an era. World Cricket will never be the same.

Posted by B.R.Krish on (March 9, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

A fine statement, typical of the great person that he is.

Posted by arun1304 on (March 9, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

U brought a lump in the throat of your fans when u got out . Now u have brought a lump in the throat that is even harder. Hope some youngster inspired by u would fill in the space left by u in times to come. DRAVID u deserve a place in history where its not what u achieve that matters as much as how u achieve it. Thanks for the lesson in Life u have taught your followers.

Posted by SRThero on (March 9, 2012, 10:08 GMT)


Posted by hash on (March 9, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Remarkable gentleman. Worth noting that the only person who he names in the entire press release is his wife Vijeeta. He gives due respect to his state, national and junior team. The one time that I saw him ten years, it was while he was walking unassumingly towards his school, on his own, no fanfare... This man has never forgotten his roots.

Posted by SouthPaw on (March 9, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Rahul S Dravid - an epitome of commitment & dignity. You showed the world that you can be good at what you are in a quite and dignified way, even in today's world of self-proclamations and chest thumping. Although you were not aggressive like Sachin Tendulkar, you have proved to be one up on that department compared to Sachin.

Have a Happy Retired Life!

Posted by streakdude on (March 9, 2012, 9:44 GMT)


Posted by fan2011 on (March 9, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

i always thought laxman would be the one to go before you.. we all know the reason why you are leaving, but one failed series is that it? shouldn't you have played one more series and left on a high? or was it that you played one extra series should you have just retired after england with everyone wanting you to stay? Laxman take the lead leave now.. oh i am a die hard sri lankan fan

Posted by kriscricket on (March 9, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

BIGGGGG salute to a true gentlemen of the game!!! Indian cricket has achieved a lot in his time. Especially in test cricket. As a fighter, truly developed and moulded for the No.3 spot in Indian test cricket. So many life saving(Face saving too) innings for India in test matches... Right from his debut innings of 95 in Lords.. to the fighting centuries in 2011 English Summer. Overshadowed in ODIs by the presence of Sachin/Sourav... he was the one to start the hitting against Sri Lanka @ Taunton during the 1999 WC match.. But most of us remember Saurav's 183 for that match. In Hyderabad against Newzealand.. he stroked a classy 150, but again remembered for Sachin's score 0f 186... All said, he is a true legend of the game... the last test material to have played the game, leaves a big hole in the batting line-up. Best wished RD for your retirement life!!! Your contribution to cricket should continue even after your playing days!!! All the best mate.....

Posted by Khiladiyon_ka_khiladi on (March 9, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

END OF THE LESSON OF DRAVID'S CRICKET BOOK. He had been a great wall of India and its hard to get another like him, He was wall when India didn't have winning virtue.Those days it was only Dravid who used to holed the team from collapse and guide them to win..that's why he got name WALL.When Dravid used to happen on crease then everybody always felt relax about match, there is too much fire power in team now but Dravid kinda wall still not in team. You need a Wall in team always.Hope if we can get another one soon. I wish to see a good inning again from Dravid in upcoming series in India.As he was really unlucky in Aus in recent tour.I wished to see him retire from Cricket Ground with big applause.

Posted by oooops on (March 9, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Thank you Sir for a wonderful innings... As a Pakistani I have always hated your guts whenever you 'stood' against us but I grew to be a fan and an admirer... A true gentleman Sir... You are 'not out' in my book... Thank you again...

Posted by Viky_Robin on (March 9, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

WILL MISS YOU A LOT.....................ALL THE BEST

Posted by TheNick on (March 9, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

THE LEGEND! Ideal role model both on and off the field. Salute to this Man..

Posted by WezMurali800 on (March 9, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Thank you for the memories Rahul Dravid!!! It has been a pleasure to witness your elegance with the bat!! Enjoy the retirement.

Posted by WezMurali800 on (March 9, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Thank you for the memories Rahul Dravid!!! A pleasure to have witnessed your elegance with the bat!!!!

Posted by annys on (March 9, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

All the best Dravid for the future :) and thanks for the great entertainment :)

Posted by wasim_007 on (March 9, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

I LOVE YOU DRAVID!!!!at times I got bored watching your defensive cricket when I saw matches from the perspective of bowlers as they ran from the rope bowled at you and you just defended or let it go..Truely Gentleman of Indian Cricket...you again set an example ...MAT JAO YAAR ...YOU ARE FIT ENOUGH AND CAN PLAY FOR 2 MORE YEARS...LOVE YOU...AND LAXMAN...

Posted by santoshreddy28 on (March 9, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

True Legend..Disappointing way to end his carrer in this way but nevertheless gud decision taken at gud time..hats off to legend..We will miss the wall and nearly impossible to replace him in the near future.

Posted by Pilotprem on (March 9, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Great Career , Tnx for all the Defences & Well Left during the difficult INDIAN hours @ Abroad ,which in deed made other batsmens to score freely

Nice Person too Mr Rahul , have a fine Life ahead , JAI HIND

Posted by pranab708 on (March 9, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

So what, the world didn't stop! For me it nearly did when Rahul Dravid announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. They won't make another one like him. His drives were as crisp and composed as his demeanor on and off the field. For some he might be a very slow scorer. But for me his batting always remains the most serene things to watch. So assured, so calm, so intense and at the end of the day got the job done... most of the times.


Posted by OhPakistan on (March 9, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

Dravid's "CLASSY-SILKY" batting was always "A JOY TO WATCH"! Thanks for entertainment. Jawed/Karachi

Posted by Dhushan on (March 9, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

Congratulations on a remarkable career you humble man. Your humility is probably the greatest asset I see in you & probably what made you break records & be the great cricketer you are today. Godspeed to you & your family. Wishes coming from a big Sri Lanka supporter.

Posted by savis on (March 9, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Rahul Dravid was the torch bearer of Indian Test Cricket. His retirement is hard to digest and its very sad. Tears rolled down as I read this. Dravid, you made the entire country proud. Fools are they who sit back and comment upon players like you. Hats off sir! India will miss your batting. Cricket will miss you.

Your retirement gave a reason to watch IPL this year.

Posted by chanakyas on (March 9, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

The game will be poorer for the lack of you playing it and every Indian will be poorer for the lack of joy that came with watching you play for us..the sense of safety you brought to the Indian hearts when the team was in strife, is unmatched! A sad day for me,like every other Indian cricket fan, to see you hang your boots! but then, you have left memories to last this lifetime n next n a few more! Thanks for all that,Rahul! YOU ARE LEGEND!!

Posted by D.Sharma on (March 9, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Shed a tear...that's all I can say.

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