Bangalore, Mar 22: The Indian Premier League is paying millions of dollars to young Indian cricketers now. Do you how much did Rahul Dravid receive when he started playing for a local club in Bangalore? It was just Rs 1,000.
The present day youngsters earn millions of dollars, thanks to the cash-rich IPL. But, in the early 1990s, one of the greats of the game, Dravid made humble beginnings before going on to make a big name for himself on the international stage. He retired from international cricket recently.
Dravid, when in college, was selected to play for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) cricket team. He was inducted into the team for a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000.
"I was on a stipend of Rs.1000, out of which 90 would get deducted towards my Provident Fund (PF). That 910 rupees was a big thing for me because I was still in college, said Dravid as he was honoured by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on Wednesday evening at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Dravid said he was fortunate to have grown up in Karnataka which boasted of great cricketers.
"I am fortunate to have grown up in a state with such a legacy. I watched these players growing up – Roger (Binny), Vishy (GR Viswanath), EAS Prasanna, (Syed) Kirmani – they were so approachable. I’m lucky to have had people like Srinath, Anil and Prasad around me to show me the right path and guide me. It would have been difficult otherwise," Dravid said.
The 39-year-old spoke about he would come to watch Ranji Trophy games at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
"My father (Sharad Dravid) loved the game. Even when we had no TV, dad listened to commentary on the radio, following India and Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy. I remember Delhi chasing a total of over 700 against Karnataka (1981-82) and then Karnataka defeating Bombay in 1982-83. I still remember that vividly. I used to come to the stadium to watch Ranji Trophy games, back in the day when you’d get 25,000 people. I would read the newspapers to see how people like Roger Binny, GR Viswanath, Syed Kirmani, Raghuram Bhat, Sudhakar Rao had all done. I was exposed to the game early, from a very young age," recalled Dravid.