Dravid has done a lot for cricket: Jayawardene

Jayawardene also said that he learned a lot from Dravid during their long association.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali




Dhaka: THE just-retired Rahul Dravid seems to draw awe not just from teammates, but from opponents as well.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene — who is cut from the same cloth as the best ever Indian No. 3 Test batsman  — says he and Dravid are great friends and that he could not see anything wrong in what Dravid did on and off the field during his 16-year-long international career.

"I rate him highly as an international cricketer as well as a great human being. He is a great friend. I have always had a lot of conversations with him on the game of cricket.

He is a very intelligent cricketer and what he has done is not just for Indian cricket, but also for international cricket – it’s amazing,” said Jayawardene, here for the Asia Cup beginning on Sunday, in an exclusive chat with MAIL TODAY.

Dravid, a former India captain, announced his retirement from first-class cricket in Bangalore on Friday, though he will represent the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), probably for one last time in the Twenty20 tournament, starting next month.

Jayawardene, who himself possesses remarkable temperament, pointed out the other virtues of Dravid.

“The temperament, the way he approaches the discipline that he has... He has set high standards, and I am honoured to have played against him, and was part of an era where we all competed against each other,” he averred.

“It is obviously sad to see great players retiring. But that’s part of the game. And I wish all the very best to him in his future endeavours. I am sure I will catch up with him during the IPL when he will be playing for Rajasthan Royals for another year.”

Jayawardene also said that he learned a lot from Dravid during their long association.

“I have gelled with a lot of international cricketers; Rahul is just one of those guys. As I said, he’s an intelligent cricketer. When you talk to other players as well you learn a lot, and Rahul was one of those guys,” he said.

“You need different characters in world cricket and you always have those. I am very honoured to be part of an era of all these cricketers. Can’t say anything wrong in what Rahul did on and off the field. And that’s a great legacy to have as an international cricketer.”

Asked to recall some of the moments that he had spent with Dravid, the 34-year-old Jayawardene said that post-match conversations with the Indian were special.

“We have had remarkable encounters. When you come across great players like Rahul, you know you are going to have a tough time, always. But we competed really well against each other on the field." “ At the same time, we were good friends off the field as well. That’s the good thing about the game — when you always have a chat about what has happened."

"Those are the moments to be cherished for a long time,” the Sri Lanka skipper said.


Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2012. MTNPL. All rights reserved.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »