Multan declaration not an issue between Dravid and Sachin

Multan declaration not an issue between Dravid and Sachin

The Multan declaration that snuffed out Sachin Tendulkar's double century in the 2004 Test match had triggered stories of serious differences between skipper Rahul Dravid and the batting maestro, but the two laughed it off today as any honest difference in the dressing room.

The occasion was the release of Sachin's autobiography 'Playing It My Way' when the two batsmen shared the stage with two other greats, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, who formed the great quartet reliving their cricket days.

During the panel discussion, cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle remarked that it was all becoming like a Rajshri movie where everybody is happy with everybody else and were there no differences among them in the last 15 years and how did they handle them.
Sachin himself brought in the Multan incident and said he is always asked this question about the issue.

Dravid butted in with his comments and said, "On being asked on Multan declaration I once mentioned that if I get a rupee on this question, I would become a millionaire.
"When you have sixteen years together, which me and Sachin have had as players, there are going to be times when you will have disagreements. As a player there are moments when you agree to disagree."

He said the greatest thing on that particular day was that he had a conversation with Sachin when the day started.

"The abiding memory of that Test match would be me giving Sachin Tendulkar the ball on the last day of the game and he getting Moin Khan back in the pavilion.

"And we walked off the field celebrating as a team and to me that's what was all about. Historic Test win against Pakistan on their soil. To see that joyful glee on Sachin's face and the team celebration."

Sachin reciprocated Dravid's feelings when he said, "This one happened on the field. We closed that chapter immediately. And we had a lot many memorable match-winning partnerships after that. Above all Dravid and me continue to be friends and that's what matters. Disagreements are bound to happen between two cricketers at some stage."

Sachin also went down memory lane, recalling an incident when he slept on the dining table of the dressing room before going in to bat.

"Dada (Sourav Ganguly) was my room mate and I was practicing my drills at night while he was sleeping. I practiced till about 2-2.30 at night. Dada was watching me practice quietly while pretending to sleep.

"So the next day before going into bat I had to get some rest. There was a dining table in the room overlooking the dressing room from a glass case. I just slept on that table for about half-an-hour and told Dada to wake me up if anything happens in between."
The talk soon drifted to Greg Chappell and Sachin said that there was lot of negativity in the dressing room during that time.

"It wasn't a healthy atmosphere. The atmosphere should be such that it brings the best out of you. The environment was negative. So it was downfall from then on. If we travel without that then the atmosphere will improve. And I said that we senior players will manage."

Laxman backed Sachin's views and termed the Chappell phase as the "toughest" of his career.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room does make a difference. Cricket is not a sport its a religion in our country. So already there is pressure. One has to go with a relaxed frame of mind and play. And that was not the case when Chappell was the coach. The 2006-07 phase was the toughest for me."

Dravid once again played with a dead bat and said focused his remarks on cricket rather than an individual.

"2007 was a difficult time for me as captain and we could not qualify for the World Cup was worse. But in a long cricket career there are bound to be ups and downs. There were phases which were really good. So you have to take the rough with the smooth."
Even the Prince of Kolkata agreed with the esteemed panel on the Chappell era - like always.

"I think we had the strongest side in the 2007 World Cup but we did not win. So we had a tough time, but we had good times as well. It was the toughest for me but that's the way it was."

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