'Dravid one of finest cricketers India has produced': Srinivasan

Bangalore, Mar 9 (ANI): Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan described former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, who bid adieu to a 16-year long glorious sports career today, to be one of the finest cricketers India has produced.

"I have mixed feelings. We have been privileged to see one of the finest cricketers India has produced. Not only has he been a great player, he has been a great role model. The kind of person who cannot be matched," Srinivasan told a press conference at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) here.

"He is actually irreplaceable. None of us want to see such players go away; we like to think they are permanent. It is not easy to step away when you are still playing well. It is a sad day for me personally," he added.

Lauding Dravid's remarkable contribution to the game of cricket, Srinivasan said: "There is hardly anything for him to achieve...Thank you Rahul, thank you for what you have given to Indian cricket. We wish you very well. The BCCI is honoured that you have been part of the Indian team."

Meanwhile, former India captain and KSCA President Anil Kumble, who was also present on the occasion, said it was his honour to have played alongside Dravid.

"Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Rahul. I am really fortunate to play along side you. I have enjoyed every moment I have played with you. It has been an honour," said Kumble.

"You have been a constant friend and colleague I depended on for advice. You are an inspiration and a role model. You are among Karnataka's finest cricketing sons," he added.

Kumble further said Dravid was passionate about the game and committed to Indian cricket.

"Every moment I have played with him, he has been quiet, unassuming and completely consumed by his enthusiasm and passion for the game. His career saw over 10,000 runs in ODIs, over 13,000 runs in Tests and a very unique record of over 400 catches in international cricket, a fantastic record indeed," said Kumble.

"His reassuring presence at the crease or on the field allowed every other batsmen rare opportunities," he added.

Kumble further expressed his desire to see Dravid joining the KSCA as an administrator.

"You are the perfect ambassador for cricket and an ideal team man. We shared wonderful moments together on the field and have had our share of worries as well. In all of it, you have been a constant friend and colleague that I depended on for advice," said Kumble.

"We expect you to be wearing an administrative coat in the KSCA. At the KSCA, we plan to celebrate your career in a fitting way," he added.

Dravid, 39, nicknamed "The Wall", is the second highest run getter in Test history with 13,288 runs, behind only batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who has 15,470 runs.

The elegant right-hander scored 36 Test centuries with a highest of 270 and ended up with an average of 52.31.

He took 210 catches, a record in Test history in 164 Tests.

Dravid captained the side from December 2005 to August 2007.

Dravid retired from the limited overs format of the game last year after India's disastrous tour of England. (ANI)

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