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Rahul Dravid says playing for India humbled him

Mumbai, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 ANI

Mumbai, Mar.28 (ANI): Reflecting on his cricketing career, legendary batsman Rahul Dravid, who recently announced his retirement, has said that playing for India has humbled him.

Dravid's comments came at a felicitation function organised for him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai.

"It made me give joy to a lot of people by just playing the sport that I love. I have experienced, like I said, great joy, I have experienced some unbelievable victories and I have experienced crushing defeats in my career as a first class cricketer. What I have realised with it is that everything does pass and we can endure and we can survive. It humbled me, I think playing for India humbled me. It made me appreciate how lucky I was to be able to do what I did for so long," said Dravid.

He expressed his gratitude towards his seniors whom he considered his heroes.

"As a young boy I dreamt of just being able to get an autograph from them, just to be able to meet them, and this sport and this game, has given me chance to interact with some of them," Dravid said.

"Here, I would like to thank all my senior cricketers, all my heroes, all my role models, for inspiring me, for leaving behind a legacy that I was very conscious of," he added.

Dravid hailed the contribution of all those people who acted as the backbone of the game, making any cricketing event successful.

"I would like to put on record and recognise so many people who work behind the scenes in our cricket-grounds men, scorers, umpires, people who organise the game, where ever you go in India, there are so many people who selflessly do honorary jobs to make this game possible for us, to set the stage for us. Without their contributions, these hundreds would not have been possible and these memories for me would not have been possible," he said.

Dravid has scored 13,288 runs in 164 tests, including 36 hundreds, and became the first of India's senior batsmen to retire from the longer format after the team slumped to eight consecutive test defeats away from home.

Critics and disgruntled fans had called for Dravid and Vangipurappu Laxman (37) to make way for new blood after India were whitewashed 4-0 in their last two away series in England and Australia.

The third member of the 'Big Three' Sachin Tendulkar (38) has just completed his 100th international ton after struggling to reach the coveted landmark for almost a year.

Dravid, a stylish right-hander, one of cricket's most technically sound batsmen, also has 12 hundreds in one-day internationals and while he will be unable to add to that tally, cricket fans will still be able to see him play in the shortest format.

Dravid will continue to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament, where he will lead the Rajasthan Royals, replacing the retired Shane Warne as captain of the franchise. (ANI)

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