New Delhi:Rahul Dravid has resigned as the captain of the Indian cricket team. He met BCCI Chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Thursday and told him he wants to step down as captain and concentrate on his game.
He told Pawar that he is not interested in retaining the skipper's job for the series coming up in Australia.
While it's bad news for fans, the good news is that Rahul will not hang up his cricket boots. He has assured Pawar that as a batsman and senior player he will give his full support for his successor.
The next BCCI meeting will take place on September 18, and the matter will be taken up then. BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla said the Board will consider his request and look for a successor.
"He has expressed his desire to quit and has written a letter to the Board president in this regard. The Board will definitely consider his request," Shukla said.
"He has been requesting for the past couple of days. He was feeling burdened as a player and captain. The BCCI will now consider the options," he said.
Shukla said Dravid did not give any indication during the tour of England that he wanted to step down. "I think the reasons are personal. He must have pondered over it".
"Dravid wants to concentrate on his game," said BCCI President Sharad Pawar. He also said that Dravid wanted a new person to get an opportunity and will extend full cooperation to his successor.
"Dravid spoke to me earlier too, then again yesterday," said Pawar. "We should respect his decision."
But BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said the board will try to persuade Dravid to reconsider his decision,
"He is such a great captain and we've performed well under him. This was his desire, so he told the president and now we'll tell the selection committee. It has come as a surprise to us, since he is a good captain.
"How can one say that we don't have a coach or a captain now; the captain is always selected before a series and we have two coaches.
"These things keep happening in cricket, players like to enjoy their cricket. This is Rahul's decision, though everyone will try to convince him but ultimately this matter is in the purview of the Selection Committee," said Niranjan Shah.
But the board may have already zeroed in on 20-20 captain M S Dhoni for leading the country in one-dayers.
Meanwhile, the Indian cricket team in Durban is shocked by Dravid's decision.
The last time anyone caught a glimpse of Rahul Dravid was on Thursday at the launch of the Indian Premier League. Dravid gave no hint as to his future plan of action.
The Indian selectors have said they are as surprised as all of India about Dravid's desire to step down.
In an exclusive interview to NDTV after the BCCI's launch of the IPL Dilip Vengsarkar admitted that M S Dhoni is a fine prospect.
Dravid captained India in 25 Tests, and won 8 matches, lost 6, while 11 matches were drawn. Of 79 ODIs he played as captain, India won 42 of the matches and 33 were drawn. (With PTI inputs)