After the final of the Champions League T20 in New Delhi on Sunday, Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid gave an emotional farewell speech to his teammates, towards the end of which he remembered his father who passed away in July.
The loss to Mumbai Indians was Dravid’s last competitive game and he said that he wished his father, Sharad Dravid, was alive to watch it.
As the team ended losing, there was no grand send-off party for Dravid and the players and support staff gathered in a suite at the team hotel. Dravid told the squad they could be proud of reaching the CLT20 final.
“It was a rare sight to see an emotional Rahul bhai. There was no doubt that he was finding it tough to bid farewell to the sport and to the team,” Royals opener Ajinkya Rahane said. Rahane asked his skipper to give him his jersey and Dravid obliged.
Dravid also had some advice for the younger players in the squad, which was at the centre of the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Harmeet Singh, who was cleared by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee in the case, said Dravid’s words came as a morale-booster.
“He told me that whatever happened is in the past now, I need to think of the future and should not worry anymore. Rahul bhai told me to start afresh and work hard and said that I have a promising career ahead of me,” Harmeet said.
The Royals’ players had put together a video that traced Dravid’s journey with the team. They also presented a jersey on which each of them had written a line about him. Coach Paddy Upton and all-rounder Shane Watson spoke on behalf of the players.
Forty-two-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, adjudged best bowler in the tournament, said Dravid had some advice for him too. “He told me not to think too much but to work hard and leave the rest to destiny,” Tambe said.