It’d be apt if government honours Dravid with Bharat Ratna: Gavaskar

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It’d be apt if government honours Dravid with Bharat Ratna: Gavaskar

New Delhi: Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar said it would be apt if Rahul Dravid is conferred with the Bharat Ratna by the government. Dravid recently wrapped up his two and a half year coaching stint with the Indian team through 2024 T20 World Cup triumph in the West Indies.

Under his coaching, India also finished up as runners-up in 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup and 2023 World Test Championship final, apart from winning Asia Cup in the same year.

Dravid, the former India captain who amassed 24,177 runs in international cricket, had also been NCA head of cricket and even won 2018 U19 World Cup as the head coach.

“It would be apt if the Government of India honours him with the Bharat Ratna, for that’s what he has truly been. Great player and captain of the country with famous away series wins in the West Indies when wins there really meant something and also win in England being only among the three Indian captains to have won a Test match series there, a wonderful talent groomer in his earlier role of the chairman of the National Cricket Academy and then as coach of the senior team.

“Earlier in the year, the Bharat Ratna was given to some leaders who had done yeoman service to society. Even their most ardent supporters will agree that the influence they wielded was mostly restricted to their party and to the part of the country where they came from.

“Dravid’s achievements have given joy across all party lines and across caste, creed, communities and brought untold happiness to the whole country. Surely, that deserves the highest accolade the country can give. C’mon everybody, please join me in asking the Government to recognise one of the greatest sons of India. Bharat Ratna, Rahul Sharad Dravid. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it?” wrote Gavaskar in his column for mid-day on Sunday.

He also lauded Dravid’s selfless attitude in his playing days, which has continued in his time as the head coach of the Indian team. “During the time he was playing, Dravid did anything that was asked of him. When an Indian wicket fell around the dying minutes of the day’s play, he would walk out to bat.

“Not for him a night watchman for the simple reason that if he, as a top-order batter, couldn’t play those last few minutes of the day, how can one expect a lower-order batter to do so? When asked to keep wickets, he would do so because that helped the team think-tank pick an extra batter or bowler according to the pitch and the opposition.

“That’s the team-oriented attitude that he inculcated in the team and if that continues, then the Indian team will win many more trophies and series. His calmness also would have rubbed off on the team as could be seen in the way they kept their nerve in the close games against Pakistan and the final when South Africa looked like they were running away with the game. He has left on a high with the gratitude of a cricket-crazy nation,” concluded Gavaskar.


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