Mumbai: Young cricketers today have the option to become rich, successful cricketers without even aspiring to play Tests, but Rahul Dravid has urged them to "not sell themselves short" because he feels there is no match for the satisfaction that can be derived from playing Test cricket. He was quick to add that he didn't want to judge them on or blame them for their choices but that he wanted to challenge them to give Test cricket a fair go.
Dravid was speaking at the launch of the book Timeless Steel, an anthology of some of the best writings on him, published by ESPNcricinfo and Walt Disney. The book is a collection of 30 pieces, some new and some previously published; the writers include cricketers (Ed Smith, Jason Gillespie, Greg Chappell, Sanjay Manjrekar) and well-known cricket writers (Rohit Brijnath, Gideon Haigh, Rahul Bhattacharya, Suresh Menon).
"There are more options now," Dravid said of the quandary cricket faces. "Very hard for me to be judgemental about kids of today. Unfair. I had gone through a commerce degree in college, and not very successfully. When I grew up, if I wanted to be a successful professional cricketer - and making a living out of the sport became a part of that - the only option for me was to be a successful Test cricketer. There was no other way in which you could make a professional living out of the sport. I would have still played it, but I would have probably looked to do something else professionally if I wasn't good enough."