Dravid’s humility result of middle-class upbringing: Wife

Zeenews Sports Bureau

A lot has been said and written about Rahul Dravid, but nothing compares to what his beloved wife has written about him. Vijeeta Dravid, in a column for ESPNcricinfo, gives one an insight into the role cricket played in his life.

“This is not meant to be a song of praise for him on his retirement; that is up to the rest of the world. I am his wife, not a fan, and the reason I am writing this is to give you an insight into the role cricket has played in his life, and to take that in for myself at the end of his 16-year international career,” Vijeeta wrote.

Emphasising the importance cricket played in his life, she said, “Cricket has been his priority and everyone around him knows that. On match days Rahul wanted his space and his silence. He didn`t like being rushed, not for the bus, not to the crease. All he said he needed was ten minutes to himself, to get what I call his "internal milieu" settled, before he could go about a match day.”

On a lighter note, Vijeeta tells us about Dravid’s superstitions, as is the case with most of the cricketers. “He doesn`t try a new bat out for a series, and puts his right thigh pad on first. Last year before the Lord`s Test, he made sure to sit in the same space Tillakaratne Dilshan had occupied in the visitors` dressing room when he scored nearly a double-hundred earlier in the season. Rahul scored his first hundred at Lord`s in that game,” she said.

Dravid’s love for the game is well known and Vijeeta explained how her husband balanced cricket and his personal life. He kept the affairs on the cricket field away from his house. “He has dealt with all that goes on in cricket because he can separate the game and the rest of his life and put things in perspective. No matter what was happening in his cricket, at home he is husband, father, family man,” she added.

On his greatest strength, she said, “One of Rahul`s great strengths is his ability - and he has had it all along - to accept reality. He believes you cannot complain about anything because there is no end to complaining. And he knows there is no end to improving either. He always looks within, to gain, to learn and to keep working at his cricket.”

She also revealed to his fans the reason behind Dravid’s humility: “People always ask me the reason for Rahul being a "normal" person, despite the fame and the celebrity circus. I think it all began with his middle-class upbringing, of being taught to believe in fundamental values like humility and perspective. He has also had some very old, solid friendships that have kept him rooted.”