Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) The Indian cricket board, in a glittering ceremony Tuesday, felicitated former captain and legendary batsman Rahul Dravid, who retired from international cricket earlier in the month.
Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kris Srikkanth, Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly paid rich tributes to Dravid. The ceremony was also attended by past and present cricketers besides officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and state associations.
An emotional Dravid said: "It has been a fantastic journey for me. I will miss the camaraderie and the banter in the dressing room. But I will keenly follow what looks like an exciting phase for Indian cricket."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his speech hoped that Dravid will continue interacting with young cricketers at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The Indian team was out there in full support for Dravid.
"As cricketers, we spend a lot of time out. Rahul started early. I think his parents and wife will enjoy his company more now. As for the Indian team, his legacy will continue for us. I wish Rahul all the best. I hope he continues to interact with young cricketers coming into NCA," Dhoni said.
Ganguly said "The Wall" helped him immensely while he was captain.
"During my captaincy, you and John Wright did a lot of work behind the doors to build a strong Indian team. You are one of the best number three batsmen I have ever seen," said Ganguly.
BCCI president N. Srinivasan was not present at the event, but wished Dravid in a video message.
"From the day he began playing till he retired, Rahul has been an extremely humble person. I wish him the best," he said.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale also paid rich tributes to Dravid.
"It is a great emotional evening for Indian and world cricket. Rahul you have been a champion on and off the field. We are proud of you," said Jagdale.
Dravid, who had retired from ODIs last year, brought down the curtains on his illustrious 16-year-old career March 9 in Bangalore. He took the decision after a disastrous tour of Australia.
He, however, will be seen in action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) leading Rajasthan Royals.
Dravid is the second highest run scorer in Test cricket after Tendulkar, having scored 13,288 runs. He has 10,889 runs from 344 ODIs.
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