|Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur|
Reactions, suggestions, any kind of feedback is always welcome.
D Mervin Ffingir writes, and having writ, moves on:
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I'm not a cricket fan. At least, not in the way that a large part of this country seems to be. I played a bit of 'colony cricket' as a lad — who hasn't? — but vastly preferred basketball, badminton, table-tennis, and volleyball. I've never watched a game from s stadium seat, but have watched my share of the game on TV, and watch bits of cricket on the office television happily enough, now that I don't have a set at home, but if I had my druthers, a nice escapist movie works better. I read reports and analysis, and follow a few exceptional cricket writers, but that reading is more for the writing than the game. And I couldn't care less if the BCCI's team wins or loses.
What I can say about Rahul Dravid, therefore, would be shallow, because it would not begin to be knowledgeable and affectionate about his cricket, which defined him for all of us.
My far more knowledgeable colleagues have been engaged in heated debate (on our private newsgroup) on the man's legacy and his place in the pantheon, but this being a hectic time for the crew, with the Budget around the corner, no one has had the time to do a connoisseur's take just yet. So I will play curator instead, and extract from and link to some excellent pieces from around the Web.
But I'll venture to say this first. Dravid epitomises the ideal of the sportsperson. He played hard, without being boorish, respected his opponents without conceding an inch of ground, put it all on the line for his team-mates, leading by example. That he retired when he did, without pomp and long farewell tours, while people still "'asked 'why?' rather than 'why not?'" spoke volumes for his character. He is a gentleman to the bone, and everything he does spells class.
The writer CLR James asked, "What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?" I'd wager that very few top level cricketers would know the quote. And that Dravid would be one of an even smaller group who'd know that the line was after Kipling's "And what should they know of England who only England know?" Dravid always came across as a complex, curious, well-rounded personality, of someone who could talk about many things, with understanding and compassion.
I've had few sporting heroes — Muhammad Ali, Prakash Padukone, Michael Jordan, Sunil Gavaskar, Carl Lewis — and Dravid is one of them. He's younger than I am, but I can say this with certainty: when I grow up, I want to be like Rahul Dravid.
Rohit Brijnath in Mint:
If the old-fashioned among us have a quaint notion of whhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifat the athlete should represent, then he met it for us. Greatness can be worn gently, a man can stay true for 16 years to the idea that desire and sportsmanship, ambition and etiquette, are not virtues in conflict. We needed a reminder that even amidst the over-indulgence and over-worship of modern sport a man need not lose himself.
Sambit Bal in ESPN-CricInfo
There is a normalcy about him that is almost abnormal. There are public figures who go out of their way to put you at ease, but the effort is palpable. Dravid does it just by being himself. There is no affectation and artifice to it. Not that he is unaware of his stardom or is falsely modest about his achievements, but he can step outside all that and connect with the world at a real level.
Mukul Kesavan in CricInfo
Greatness in batting, specially in the last 20 years, has been associated with masterful aggression: Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting. In the same period, Dravid (along with Jacques Kallis) showed us masterfulness of another sort: great defensive batting put to winning ends. Dravid's originality as a batsman needs an essay to itself; suffice to say that by melding Gundappa Viswanath's wristy genius with Gavaskar's monumental patience and poise, he became that remarkable and original creature: a stylish trench-warrior.
jamie Alter in Cricketnext
In particular, I remember two shots of Dravid's. The first, when was closing in on a century in Adelaide, the scene of his most famous innings. Jason Gillespie had just bounced him, and Dravid looked a bit rattled. Gillespie repeated the short ball again, and this time Dravid took him on with the hook. It wasn't connected perfectly, but sailed over the fielder at fine leg to bring Dravid his century, one that turned into 233 of the most fabled runs ever scored by an Indian.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, a.k.a. Sidvee, consistently one of Dravid's most eloquent admirers, in a letter to Dravid on his blog
You are too conveniently slotted as a specialist batsman. I disagree. That’s too simplistic. For me, you are an allrounder – not in the way our limited imaginations defines an allrounder but in a broader, more sweeping, sense.
Ed Smith, Dravid's team-mate at Kent, in CricInfo
One word has attached itself to Dravid wherever he has gone: gentleman. The word is often misunderstood. Gentlemanliness is not mere surface charm - the easy lightness of confident sociability. Far from it: the real gentleman doesn't run around flattering everyone in sight, he makes sure he fulfils his duties and obligations without drawing attention to himself or making a fuss. Gentlemanliness is as much about restraint as it is about appearances. Above all, a gentleman is not only courteous, he is also constant: always the same, whatever the circumstances or the company.
And the last word from his wife, Vijeta Dravid, in this eloquent piece. Here's an extract:
People always ask me the reason for Rahul being a "normal" person, despite the fame and the celebrity circus. I think it all began with his middle-class upbringing, of being taught to believe in fundamental values like humility and perspective. He has also had some very old, solid friendships that have kept him rooted.
And the announcement:
Note: [*] = The site linked to requires registration.
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.