Bangalore, Aug 15: Rahul Dravid and Javagal Srinath went down memory lane recalling their days as club cricketers in Karnataka during the "Club Day" organised by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) as part of their Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
It was an evening to remember for former cricketers, KSCA members and budding cricketers at a packed hall at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday (August 14).
Former India captain Dravid emphasised the importance of club cricket in developing as a cricketer. He said he was privileged to play alongside cricketers like Roger Binny, Sadanand Vishwanath and others at the start of his career at Bangalore United Cricket Club (BUCC).
Dravid also recalled how train journeys were helpful for him as he travelled with GR Viswanath among other Karnataka stalwarts for Ranji Trophy matches.
"I have fond memories of playing club cricket. I have great memories of playing in the same side as Roger Binny, Carlton Saldhana and Sadanand Viswanath," said Dravid, who recently played league cricket for BUCC.
"To play club cricket has been a great tradition of Karnataka. Playing club cricket alongside the greats was an opportunity to learn a thing or two from them," he added.
On the aspect of coaching, Dravid advised youngsters to look for mentors than coaches.
"Young players should be looking at mentors not coaches. A lot of youngsters think that they will make themselves a world-class players through coaching academies," he advised.
"Coaches focus on concrete issues of the game but mentors go beyond what coaches do. Their focus is on matters including self-confidence and self-perception," he explained.
"Coach Ramakant Achrekar never stuffed techinal aspects of the game in young Sachin Tendulkar's mind. Instead he gave him opportunities to play games almost everyday and made him bat for five hours in the nets which made him what he is today. In real sense, he was a mentor not a coach to the Mumbaikar," he said.
Srinath said: "They (youngsters) should interact more with senior players as Rahul used to do with G R Viswanath and Syed Kirmani while travelling in a train to play Ranji matches."
Srinath, who is know KSCA secretary, said how he was helped by Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai.
"When I reached MRF training camp a week ahead of Lillee's arrival. The coach there, after watching me bowl at the nets, ruled me out that I could not bowl," Srinath said.
"But in came Lilee and he immediately found the problem and came up to me and asked whether I had bowled for the last six months? The great Australian great hit the bull's eye and said nobody on this earth could bowl at right areas without playing for the last six months. That was enough and gained confidence. Now, this is the type of coaching is required," he added.
Fast bowler Srinath said watching Viswanath and others play in Mysore inspired him to take to the sport.
"As youngsters we would watch greats like GRV and others come and play in Mysore. That's how cricket began to inspire me. A club was like a school and if I missed even one session, I would be hard on myself. Coming from Mysore, I felt Bangalore's cricketers were stronger than us. Having said that, we played a quality cricket," he said.
On the occasion, KSCA honoured several old clubs in Karnataka.