Friday, April 13, 2007

Love your enemy: the Dravid Way

After spoiling India's party in the cricket World Cup, young Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal treasures the good words showered on him by rivalskipper Rahul Dravid.
Dravid, despite being devastated by India's loss to Bangladesh on March 17, gave a good account of his sportsmanship. Once back inhis hotel in Port of Spain, Dravid asked Tamim if he could see him in his room. Tamim, not knowing what to expect, knocked at Dravid's door with a littletrepidation.
And to his surprise, he saw Dravid waxing eloquent platitudes onhis brilliant batting on the day. Tamim had scored a half-century in stirringfashion after his side had been set a target of 192 in the afternoon.
The 17-year-old left-hander had gone after Indian medium-fast bowlers with gusto andeven hoisted Zaheer Khan deep into the second tier of the mid-wicket stands.
Stirring moment By the time he was out, Bangladesh was well on its way toscript one of the most stirring moments of his nation's cricket history. Dravid, in that evening, not only praised Tamim but also presented him with abat as a token of his appreciation.
Tamim was overwhelmed but his happinessknew no bounds when the Indian captain gave him another bat to be given to youngwicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim. Mushfiqur too had proved a big thorn inIndia's flesh that day when he scored an important half-century for Bangladeshand anchored its innings to safety. Mushfiqur, promoted to one-drop, hadbatted sedately and opened out only towards the end to rush his team to victory. Number of admirers ``I am overwhelmed. For him to do so after India's chancesin the World Cup had taken a knock shows the spirit in which Dravid plays hiscricket. We have a number of admirers for the Indian captain in our dressingroom,'' he said. Dravid is known for his gestures in international cricket.Periodically he offers advice to a number of young cricketers from Bangladeshand Sri Lanka on how to improve their cricket.
A number of Bangladeshcricketers benefited from his insight and advice on the game when India lasttoured the neighbouring country in 2004. Batting tips Pakistan's YounisKhan had also acknowledged how Dravid's advice turned around his career in 2004. It was in the 2004 Champions Trophy in England when Younis had requested Dravidfor batting tips.
``I talked with Dravid who gave me some tips about battingand about life. After that everything has changed so I have just followed hisinstructions and the results are there,'' he had said. The results were sogood for Younis that he, at one stage of his career, had hit four centuries infour Tests against India.

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