Rahul Dravid: Your regular, everyday superstar

One of the great things about Rahul Dravid was how, without being falsely modest, he could leave cricket behind when off the field and connect with the world at a real level...

updated: March 09, 2012 16:04 IST
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It's hard not to feel a bit emotional today. Journalism has instilled in us the discipline of detachment, but it feels impossible at this hour to separate Rahul Dravid the cricketer I have watched from afar from the man I have come to know to a degree of proximity.

The last time I felt this way about a retirement was when Sunil Gavaskar went in 1986. I was merely a fan then, and it was through Gavsakar, my first hero, that I related to cricket. I felt personally cheated that his departure came without a warning. It left me with an emptiness that I dreaded I would never fill, and a gnawing feeling that I might never be able to feel about the game the same way again. Of course I was wrong.

Dravid's retirement doesn't come as a surprise. If you knew him, you ought to have expected it. The manner of his departure bears the stamp of the man: not for him the fanfare of a build-up to a farewell Test, the showmanship of a final doffing of the hat, or the milking of emotions.

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