Rahul Dravid remembers Akash Deep's father in goosebump-giving Hindi speech | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Rahul Dravid remembers Akash Deep's father in goosebump-giving Hindi speech in India vs England 4th Test

Feb 23, 2024 03:32 PM IST

Dravid narrated Akash Deep's journey from Dehri in Bihar, to tennis ball cricket in Durgapur, then to first-class cricket and finally the Indian team.

India head coach Rahul Dravid gave a long and emotional speech in Hindi before handing over the India cap to young pacer Akash Deep in the 4th Test against. Akash Deep was handed debut as India released Jasprit Bumrah from the squad to manage his workload. Akash Deep beat his Bengal teammate Mukesh Kumar for a spot in India's XI. Dravid narrated the 27-year-old's entire journey from Dehri, a small town in Bihar, to tennis ball cricket in Durgapur in West Bengal then to first-class cricket and finally the Indian team.

Rahul Dravid handed the Test to Akash Deep(BCCI/X)
Rahul Dravid handed the Test to Akash Deep(BCCI/X)

“Akash your journey started from a place named Baddi, which is roughly 200 km from here. You have faced a lot of hardships in this journey. You have worked hard. You have seen a lot of ups and downs.

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“You on your own, moved from Baddi to Delhi to play cricket. You were inspired by the 2007 T20 World Cup win. You stayed alone in Delhi and put in the effort. Then you moved to Kolkata from Delhi. You played domestic cricket and put up impressive performances. Your journey has taken you to Ranchi, which is 200km closer to your village and you are going to get your India cap here today," Dravid said in a video posted by BCCI.

Akash Deep's mother and three other family members were present to wish the right-arm pacer well but Dravid remembered the youngster's father and elder brother.

“It is a special feeling for you as your mother is also here along with some of your family members. It is unfortunate that your father and elder brother are no more. But we are sure that they are blessing you from wherever they are. Our entire team is wishing you. Please enjoy this moment and this match. You have worked hard to reach here this has been your dream. We are happy that we are here with you to fulfil this dream. Enjoy these five days and your entire career. With great joy, I present to you India Test Cap No, 313.”

“It was my dream to play Test cricket for India and I am happy that I am fulfilling that dream somewhere close to my village. I am delighted that my family is here and nothing can get bigger than this. At the same time, it’s a big responsibility. It’s an important match, so I am focusing more on that," Dravid concluded.

Akash Deep had a great start to his Test career. He came back from a no-ball setback that denied him a maiden Test wicket to dismiss Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley in the first session of Day 1.

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