Former cricketer and India U-19 cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid was formally inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame here on Sunday (local time).
He is the fifth Indian to be inducted to the prestigious group that includes cricketing legends such as Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble.
Describing it as a great honour and privilege, Dravid, in his acceptance speech, said “I am thankful to the ICC for giving me this honour. It is a privilege to be among a group of people I have looked up to and I have admired as a young man growing up in the journey as a cricketer. I’d love to be able to thank so many people who have made it possible for me to have a career in the sport and to fulfil my dreams.”
“My parents, my family, my two kids, my so many friends, colleagues that I have played with, and played against that enriched my game. My many coaches right from the time I was in school and the coaches I have played for in India have really helped me to develop as a cricketer. I would not be here if not for support and love that they have given me and I’m truly grateful and thankful for it,” he added.
The 45-year-old further said he was unable to personally receive the honour due to his coaching commitments with the India A team.
Dravid signed off by saying, “It is a privilege that I will hold very close to my heart.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) shared an image of the honour on its Twitter handle.
“The Wall is in The Hall! Here’s his #ICCHallOfFame cap ??,” the ICC tweeted.
Dravid is known for his outstanding defence technique in cricket. He is regarded as one of India’s greatest-ever Test batsmen and among the all-time greats at No.3 in Test cricket.
His 13,288-run feat places him at No.4 on the list of most prolific run-scorers in Test cricket, and he played key roles in some of India’s greatest Test wins in the 2000s, most memorably in Adelaide in 2003 when he scored 233 and 72 not out.
In one-day internationals, Dravid, also known as “The Wall” scored has 10,889 runs with 12 centuries.
In 2004, he was named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Player of the Year.
Dravid, who also played a solitary Twenty20 International, was also a brilliant slip fielder and finished his Test career in 2012 with 210 catches, which is a world record.
During his role as captain, he led India to rare Test series victories in the Caribbean and in England in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Along with Dravid, former English batswoman Claire Taylor and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting were also inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame.
Taylor earned a unique distinction of being the first woman to be named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2009.
On the other hand, Ponting, also known as ‘Punter’, is regarded as the most successful cricketer of all times, having won three consecutive ICC Cricket World Cups in 1999, 2003, and 2007 and winning more international matches than any other player in history.