Rahul Dravid is the personification of the phrase- cricket is a gentleman’s game. The man, apart from his solid technique and superb batsmanship, was also known for the way he carried himself both on and off the field. Despite being a part of some of the most fierce battles up against the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath and many others, Dravid never lost his cool.
Such was his personality that he rarely showed disagreement with an umpire’s decision even when he had been a victim of an umpiring blunder. Talking about once such incident, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif narrated how the Indian batting maestro was wrongly given out caught behind in an India vs Pakistan ODI in 1996. The umpire has raised his finger possibility because of the pressure of a loud appeal by former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed.
Dravid who had made his ODI debut not long ago was only playing his third ODI and his second match against Pakistan.
Latif revealed that after the match, Dravid, who was adjudged out caught behind, had asked him whether he was actually out or not out.
“They played against us in Sharjah. Rahul, unfortunately, was caught behind. Mushtaq Ahmed bowled a delivery and made a huge appeal. We appealed alongside him, he was given out. After the match, Dravid asked ‘was I out’, and I said ‘no, brother, Mushtaq tang karta hai bohot (It’s Musthaq’s habit to appeal),” Latif said in a YouTube show called ‘Caught Behind’.
Dravid was given out for just 3 runs as India were bundled out for just 233, chasing Pakistan’s 272 as the Men in Green won the match by 38 runs.
Latif then also recalled Dravid’s impressive Test debut at Lord’s a couple of months later against England.
“Both Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly had made their debuts in England and incidentally we were also there at that point of time in 1996. We met with the entire team when the Prime Minister invited us for lunch. I met these two young cricketers. They both played well,” Latif said.
While Ganguly scored a century in his debut, Dravid got out at 95. The two went on to have amazing careers ahead and even became captains at different stages of their career.
Latif said that Dravid was born to play cricket.
“He’s an amazing person. Younis Khan has also said that how Rahul guided him in his career and brought a change in his game. He has a great cricketing mind, was born to play cricket. He was born to play cricket. He has developed India A, and under U-19 team. He was born for cricket, it seems,” he said.