Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. He became fifth Indian to receive this prestigious honor after Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble.
The 45-year-old, who was called as 'The Wall' for his firmness on the pitch, spoke about his cricket journey in a chat with ICC recently.
He said the journey of cricket helped him grow as a person. "Cricket helped me grow up as a person. Obviously, I have grown up as a cricketer and developed skills. But most importantly, when I look back on myself over the years my growth as a cricketer, the game is much more than just cricket. It gave me the opportunity to travel the world, it gave me the opportunity to meet new people. It exposed me to so many conditions and environments, situations that made me a better person. I deloped as a cricketer and most importantly as a human being. I have been grateful to cricket for this."
Dravid, who holds a record of never getting out for a golden duck in his 286 Test innings, said it was a dream for him to represent India in Test cricket.
When asked about the most cherishing moment of his career, he said, "Receiving the Test cap. I grew up dreaming to play Test cricket. Test cricket is something I always wanted to play and to get the honor to represent your country in Test cricket was I think the highlight of my career."
For the Karnataka batsman, it is an honor to be in a group of greats. "It's a very humbling feeling. The people who have been recognized by the ICC Hall of Fame were my heroes, the people I have looked up to. Whose posters I had on the wall of my room. They have been a real inspiration for me. Some of my colleagues who have played with me and against are also in the hall of fame. So to be considered worthy of the honor to be a part of that group and to be alongside them, it is something I have dreamed of. It really does feel special," he said.
When asked about the goals he set for cricket, Rahul said it started as a hobby and initially he had no particular thought about targets.
"When I began, I played for the love of the game and I played with my friends on the street. I didn't play the organized cricket till I was 12 years old. I played for the fun of it and never really thought how far I would go. Obviously, when you start doing well, you think of competing with the best in the world, represent your country, play overseas and test your skills. I have had the honor to really do that and I am grateful that I have had a career where I have no regrets. I had disappointments, but not regret. It started off for me as a hobby and I never expected to make it a profession, which is a great feeling."
Here is the full interview: