'Rahul bhai told me, 'I picked you despite not knowing your age'. That's his greatness': Veteran IPL bowler hails Dravid
Rahul Dravid has been instrumental in unearthing some gems in Indian cricket, and one of them has paid tribute to The Wall for helping him at every step of the way.
In Indian cricket, you will hardly find an individual who is more respected than Rahul Dravid. A complete team-man during his playing days ready to whatever role his team or captain would ask him to, Dravid continued to win hearts even after retiring from the game. Fondly called The Wall, Dravid gave back to the game by taking up coaching and tasting unprecedented success with the India A and Under-19 teams.
After leading India to victory in the Under-19 World Cup in 2018, Dravid embarked on a new journey, becoming the NCA chief and overseeing its day-to-day operations. Finally last year, Dravid took over from Ravi Shastri as India’s head coach, and barring the South Africa blip, has fared rather well in his short tenure so far. Among the many Dravid ventures, his role as mentor in the IPL is the least talked about. Dravid retired with Rajasthan Royals after which he took over as the side's mentor and unearthed some gems, one of which is Pravin Tambe, the leg-spinner who made his IPL debut at the age of 41. Tambe, who picked up a hat-trick and whose biopic is about to release soon, narrated an incident highlighting Dravid's greatness.
"Rahul Dravid has played a very important role in my journey. Whatever I am now, it's because of him. During those two to three days of the trials, he never asked me about my age. He just looked at my performance and selected me. That's a great thing about him," Tambe told SportsKeeda in an interview.
"I think Rahul bhai was surprised when he found out my age. One day, he told me at the breakfast table, 'Pravin, I picked you despite not knowing your age. I've seen in the papers that you're 41, but it doesn't seem so'. (Laughs) That shows his greatness.
In fact, the trailer of Tambe's biopic, 'Kaun Pravin Tambe' starts with a clip of Dravid talking about the spinner. He says: 'I'd just like to share a story of someone I had the privilege of playing with and getting to know over the last couple of years. A lot of times, people come here and expect me to talk about Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly and Kumble, but the story that I would like to tell is about Pravin Tambe.'
While there was a time when Tambe would constantly pick Dravid’s brains, the leg-spinner admits that their conversations have become a lot less frequent with time. "He's so busy that I never disturb him. I know what major responsibility he has on his shoulders. Of course, I send him WhatsApp messages during festivals like Diwali and thank him for what he has done for me," he added.