Steve was my role model: Dravid

Rahul Dravid used to imitate Steve Waugh's mannerism to get into the right frame of mind.

Bangalore, (The Telegraph): Rahul Dravid Wednesday said that former Australian captain Steve Waugh was his role model and he used to imitate his mannerism to get into the right frame of mind.

"In Steve Waugh, I saw the roadmap to build my career," Dravid, who recently retired from international cricket, said at a function, organised by the Karnataka State Cricket Association, to felicitate him.

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Though Waugh didn't not have an array of strokes like some other batsmen including Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, Dravid said the Australian was a role model who suited his style of game. Waugh was a gritty player and did not throw away his wicket easily. "He is someone who valued his wicket," Dravid said.

"Steve appeared to relish the big occasion, seemed to thrive in such situations," he added.

Dravid also spoke about disgraced Pakistan pacer Mohammed Aamer, saying that it would be "great" if the youngster manages to make a comeback after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

The 19-year-old was recently released from prison after completing half of a six-month sentence for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal that shook the world cricket.

"He's a superb player and when he's served his ban, I'd hope he'd be able to make a comeback. It's not easy to stay away from the game for so long, to not play it, and be able to come back," Dravid said.

Aamer, who at 18 became the youngest bowler to take 50 Test wickets before being shamed by the scandal, claimed he was "manipulated" by his then skipper Salman Butt, who took advantage of their "good friendship".

Dravid said he hoped the teen has learnt his lesson from the ordeal he went through and would come back a better player. "It's been disappointing as (I am) someone who loves the game, and loves watching young talent come through," said Dravid.

"It was difficult on everybody across the world who saw such a young talent make such mistakes. We all want him to come back at some stage and I know that's going to be a challenge. I hope he can do it; it would be great if he can," he added.

On a different note, Dravid said he did not regret retiring from international cricket. "I have been doing it (playing for India) for over 16 years… I am privileged to be part of cricket," he said.

Asked which sport he loved other than cricket, Dravid said he is fond of hockey and even used to play as a centre-half. But he added: "To be honest, hockey was never a choice...I played hockey for fun."

Meanwhile, the Board has decided to felicitate Dravid next Tuesday in Mumbai.

The ceremony will be attended by the Indian team, former captains and cricketers, members of Dravid's family, and current and former office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.