Bangalore: BCCI President N Srinivasan on Friday described Rahul Dravid, who today announced retirement from all forms of cricket, as "irreplaceable" and a role model for the youngsters to emulate.
"I have mixed feelings. We have been privilege to see one of the finest cricketers India has produced ... not only has he been a great player, he has been a great role model ... the kind of person who cannot be matched," said Srinivasan at the press conference where Dravid announced his retirement.
"He is actually irreplaceable ... none of us want to see such players go away, we like to think they are permanent ... it is not easy to step away when you're still playing well. It is a sad day...for me personally. I have watched him grow from playing cricket in Chennai," he added.
The BCCI chief thanked Dravid for his contribution to Indian cricket.
"There is hardly anything for him to achieve...Thank you Rahul, thank you for what you have given to Indian cricket. We wish you very well. The BCCI is honoured that you have been part of the Indian team," he said.
Bidding adieu to Dravid, former Indian captain Anil Kumble said he was honoured to have played alongside him for Karnataka and India.
"Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Rahul. I am really fortunate to play along side you. I've enjoyed every moment I've played with you. It's been an honour," said Kumble.
"You've been a constant friend and colleague I depended on for advice. You are an inspiration and a role model. You are among Karnataka's finest cricketing sons," he added.
Praising Dravid for his commitment to Indian cricket, Kumble said his former team-mate had always been unassuming despite his achievements.
"Every moment I have played with him, he has been quiet, unassuming and completely consumed by his enthusiasm and passion for the game. His career saw over 10,000 runs in ODIs, over 13,000 runs in Tests and a very unique record of over 400 catches in international cricket...a fantastic record indeed.”
"His reassuring presence at the crease or on the field allowed every other batsmen rare opportunities." Kumble also said he would like to see Dravid wear administrator's hat in Karnataka State Cricket Association. "You are the perfect ambassador for cricket and an ideal team man. We shared wonderful moments together on the field and have had our share of worries as well. In all of it, you have been a constant friend and colleague that I depended on for advice.
"We expect you to be wearing an administrative coat in the KSCA. At the KSCA we plan to celebrate your career in a fitting way," he said.
Wishing Dravid all the best for his new life after cricket, Kumble said, "Enjoy your deserved time with your family. I wish you all the best."