We all know Rahul Dravid as a mannered guy who wouldn’t speak out of turn and will never raise his voice. We have literally never seen him do that.
And while that is true, he knows when he has to take a stand, and how. A good example of that is his interview with Rajdeep Sardesai which is now doing the rounds of the internet.
In the interaction from 2017, Rajdeep asks Rahul if the Indian cricketers have become bigger than the game. He cites the examples of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, saying that while the former gets to choose who will be the coach of the national team, the latter gets to decide when he will retire.
To which, Dravid jokes:
Don’t be critical of just Virat and Dhoni, even Ashish Nehra is getting to decide when he retires.
And then he goes on to explain the basics, which is basically that when someone questions why have players become so important, they should remember who has made them so important.
At the core of this (the cricketers) are normal guys, then suddenly they become heroes. And they become heroes thanks to people like you who keep asking them for interviews and write books about them. Who has made them too big?
He also points out how other people have benefitted from the players’ stardom.
Let’s face it, news channels want players there. They also sell ads, they are making money.
To this, the audience responds with a big applause and Dravid further says that he liked to play overseas because he could get out of his hotel room there, something not possible in India.
Anyway, while that was a great response, it didn’t answer Rajdeep’s initial question, something the journalist reminds him of.
And after some jokes, Dravid, at his honest best, says that as far as Anil Kumble’s sacking was concerned, it was unfortunate because of the way it played out.
Coaches get sacked all the time, but that was certainly an unfortunate episode, and especially for someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend to the game and someone who has done more to win Test matches or India than anybody I know.
As for Dhoni’s retirement, Dravid is of the opinion that players should not get to decide that when they retire but that it is also not correct to assume that Dhoni is doing that. He says that maybe it was the selectors who decided that he should continue.
Well, how is that for transparency? You can watch the full interview, here: