Bangalore, Mar 22: Rahul Dravid was good at both cricket and hockey when in school. When he had to make a choice between the two, he picked cricket as that was what he loved the most.
Dravid said that he was a centre-half and right-half in St. Joseph's Boys High School's hockey team. But he was also a talented batsman for his school.
"I loved playing hockey. I was part of what was a very strong St. Joseph’s team. I played as centre-half and right-half. I also made it to the State Under-15 camp, but at the same time the Under-15 cricket camp was also on. I had to make a decision but for me it wasn’t really a choice. Cricket was what I loved; hockey was just fun," said Dravid.
Dravid said this at a felicitation function organised for him by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on Wednesday night.
Talking about life after retirement, he said: "It’s slowly sinking in. It’s a big relief in some ways. I don’t have to worry about getting bowled again."
When asked whether he read all that was written about him after retirement, Dravid said he was "touched and humbled" by the tributes.
"I have been touched and humbled by everything that has been written about me. Without sounding arrogant, I will say that I expected the tributes – because I’ve seen them when cricketers before me have retired. But what touched me with many of the tributes was that people had taken the trouble to think about it. They have not been casual. They have taken the time and effort and written some really nice things about me," the 39-year-old said.
"The Wall" said Fr. Coelho played an important role in his life at school.
"Fr. Coelho is a very important person in my life. He played an important role at a critical stage in my development as a cricketer. My parents were worried that I was missing classes, exams etc. In pre-IPL days, taking cricket as a profession was a risk but he told my parents not to worry."
Dravid made an attempt to complete MBA but could not due to cricket commitments. And he said that his mother was disappointed for this.
"My mum’s very disappointed that I did not complete it (MBA)." When told that he could pursue now, he replied: "I don’t feel the inclination anymore."
Does Dravid regret quitting Tests. "Not at all," he said.
"Not at all. Like I said, it was a relief. I haven’t regretted it for one moment. I played international cricket for 16 years, first class cricket for five, and junior cricket five years before that. I’m privileged and lucky. I just knew that the time was right to move on. The IPL is there so I’ll still be training. I’ll only realise in June (what it feels like without cricket)."