As candid as it gets

As candid as it gets

A while ago, in the foreword to Steve Waugh’s autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone, Rahul Dravid had penned, “greatness wasn’t handed to him; he pursued it diligently, single-mindedly”.

“Rather than depending solely on luck to pave your road to success, it is necessary for a man to be prepared and ready to grab any opportunity that comes knocking on the door,” he said.

You can’t ignore the air of humility about him as he talks about life after retiring from international cricket, on what he’s enjoying and what he misses now.

“It has been great. I guess you do miss certain things like playing the game, actually hitting cricket balls, the practice and the preparation. What I don’t miss is the travel, the pressure and the stress (laughs). It’s nice to be home, to be able to spend more time with my family which I could not do otherwise. It’s a lot more relaxed pace of life,” Dravid says.

But pray, how tough is it to be a disciplined person in spite of the busy schedule? “Playing at that level and the international level, you are forced to be disciplined. You are with people who are constantly working hard. If you want to succeed, you have to work hard because everybody around you is improving. It inspires and forces you to raise the bar higher. You need to do more than what others are doing and that includes being disciplined as well. You can never afford to relax. If you don’t improve, there is always the danger of being left behind,” he says.

You can’t but ask him why other sports are not accorded the royal treatment that cricket gets when there is so much talent here, “Well, I think it’s slowly changing. I definitely think with the success some of our athletes are having in other sports and with new leagues opening up like kabaddi and now football, the scene is changing. It’s great for all these other sports. And it’s good for cricket as well because obsession with one sport is not healthy for any sport,” he avers.

“Guess it comes down to eventually having role models and people who have succeeded. Whether it is Saina Nehwal in badminton, Sania Mirza in tennis, Abhinav Bindra in shooting and recently, Sharath Gayakwad in paralympic swimming, there are so many great stories. And that inspires the next generation to take up those sports. It’s also important for the media to highlight the heroes in other sports and when the message gets across to people, who knows who might get inspired?” he asks.

At a time, when Sachin Tendulkar’s book has stirred up the hornet’s nest and provided a peek into the pavilion, is there a book up his sleeve? Will he be willing to spill the beans? “No. (laughs) I don’t have any beans to spill... and I haven’t really decided when and where my book will come out. Some day may be!”

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