Rahul Dravid – Bradman Oration
When cricket is referred to as the “Gentlemen’s Game”, the first person that comes to mind is Rahul Dravid. Everything that is text-book about the sport, Rahul Dravid epitomizes. Calm, composed and balanced, “The Wall” was on field, a man of few words. Yet, when called upon to be the first non-Australian to deliver the Bradman Oration in 2011, the former Indian captain had his audience captivated. He spoke about the relation India and Australia shared for so long, cricketing or otherwise. The Karnataka man highlighted the importance of the game in India, of the 2011 World Cup triumph, of the joy it gave Indians. He also spoke of the diversity in the team and the hardships each player faced to scale the heights they had.
The 2004 Player of the Year stressed upon the the need to balance between the three formats of the game. He said that each was important on it’s own but it was upto the administrators to find the right schedule. It was also their responsibility he said, to find the right venues for the right matches so the ultimate stakeholder- the fan would not be disappointed.
He expressed his concern for the dangers the money involved in the game would bring in. He spoke of the role the organisers and players themselves had to play in preserving cricket’s future. Just like Sangakkara earlier in the year, Dravid’s words were measured, careful. He added humour, but only just. He was observant and precise reflecting so much on his character, the one we had all been accustomed to seeing. Mr. Dependable had yet again, delivered one of the most classic sportspersons speeches.