Rahul Dravid urges kids to lower their bats on receiving guard of honour, hero's welcome in Bengaluru Cricket Academy | Crickit
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Rahul Dravid urges kids to lower their bats on receiving guard of honour, hero's welcome in Bengaluru Cricket Academy

Jul 09, 2024 03:15 PM IST

Rahul Dravid requested the kids giving him a guard of honour on his arrival at a academy to lower their bats.

Think of the most ideal farewells in sports, and what comes to mind? Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes ending his legendary association with Manchester United with an EPL title in 2013? Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene lifting the World Cup in their T20I swansong? A teary-eyed Andre Agassi bidding goodbye to tennis by giving it his all against Benjamin Becker in the US Open? Michael Jordan retiring for a second time after winning his 6th NBA Championship in 1998?

Rahul Dravid was moved by this touching gesture from Bengaluru youngsters(X)
Rahul Dravid was moved by this touching gesture from Bengaluru youngsters(X)

While all the aforementioned moments stand out in their own way, when it comes to Indian cricket, nothing will top Rahul Dravid ending his career with a T20 World Cup trophy. Dravid's impact on Indian cricket is immeasurable, and his legacy as one of India's most decorated batters will be remembered for generations to come. But even after finishing as one of their greatest ever, Dravid took up the responsibility of shaping Indian cricket's future – first as the coach of India A and Under-19 teams, then as chief of the National Cricket Academy before his ascension to Team India's head coach post.

Also Read: Rahul Dravid approached by KKR as direct swap for Gautam Gambhir with an offer more lucrative than Team India

All set to leave after the 2023 World Cup, Dravid agreed to one final run on the insistence of Rohit Sharma… and look where it got him. One of the most deserving champions of Indian cricket, Dravid finally realised his dream of what it feels like to be a World Cup winner. And now that he is gone, the void he left will be challenging to fill, even if it's someone like Gautam Gambhir, who is taking over the reins from him.

Hero's welcome for Rahul Dravid

Like everyone else, including Virat Kohli, Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah and others, Dravid too received a hero's welcome when he made his way to a cricket academy in Bengaluru. The World Cup-winning former India coach was welcomed with bouquets and warm hugs from senior members of the academy before a bunch of youngsters lined up to form a guard of honour. Dravid, never known to embrace such gestures, had an embarrassing smile in response to this big-hearted move, but ever the gentleman, Dravid urged the kids to lower their bats.

Watch the clip below:

Dravid, who took up the India head coach position from Ravi Shastri in November of 2021, experienced a roller-coaster ride in his near-three-year stint. During his time in charge, while Dravid endured a few misses – losing the Test series in South Africa, the World Test Championship final, and the final of the 2023 World Cup, they were overshadowed by the highs.

With him at the helm, India became the No. 1-ranked team in both Tests, ODIs and T20Is towards the end, won the Test series against Australia and England at home, conquered the Asia Cup in 2023, and notched up countless bilateral series wins against West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. To cap it off, under Dravid, India broke their 11-year-long wait for an ICC trophy, his tenure culminating with an evergreen T20 World Cup win in West Indies.

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