Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Dravid's speech at Sir Don's Oration.

I wonder how many other current cricketers could have fit the bill for the esteemed regard, knowledge and adroitness for a Bradman reminiscence Orator. None flash automatically. The complete flavors of his personality were on display through the piece and so much so that he threatened to steal the show from the reverence of the great man himself, not purposefully so I am sure. His stately disposition was evident in the opening lines vis. "I understand that I am supposed to speak about cricket and issues in the game - and I will.". It was no leisuserly chit-chat and he set out his erudite stand at the outset. Not that there was any shortage of humor, the self-deprecating brand of which is so easily and fittingly borne by the modern great now.
Then there was the profound knowledge about issues ranging from world wars to pre-independence anecdotes delving into the psyche of the then Indian fan and man. Of course there were handy and may I say indispensible suggestions for the future well-being of the game from experience and a matter-of-fact description of the current affairs with the occasional expert-advice which he is legitimately entitled to. None better than the following in my humble opinion: "One of the things, Bradman said has stayed in my mind. That the finest of athletes had, along with skill, a few more essential qualities: to conduct their life with dignity, with integrity, with courage and modesty. All this he believed, were totally compatible with pride, ambition, determination and competitiveness. Maybe those words should be put up in cricket dressing rooms all over the world." If the above were to become the code of ethics hung in every Cricket dressing room, I guess a lot of the issues would settle for themselves in some measure. In any case, it is a good advice.
He represented Indian cricket pretty well without sounding jingoistic and still communicated the plethora of issues, passion and emotions which unfold in the backdrop of the story of India's romance with cricket. And finally there was the poetic ease, inspiration and grace, what with the instance of not letting facts hinder those great stories and the meditative experiences he shared. It helped remind oneself that behind the dodgy and almost robot like methodical approach which has served the legend fine, there actually was a mind seeped rich in spirit and controlled passion. That is a blend which distinguishes him immediately from any cricketer who comes to the mind.
If I really had to find some shortcoming in the speech to save the world from an impending doom, I would hesitantly say "Isnt it heavily India-centric?". But then, isnt he supposed to speak for his country and from his personal experiences rather than do research and put some facts together covering the entire cricketing community the world over. Thats up to the critics to mull over.
Overall, there is little surprise as to the quality of the content and delivery if one cognized the goods were to be delivered by Rahul Dravid. The only highlight is that his pre-eminence among current generation complete cricketers is now for all practical purposes, official.

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