Rahul Dravid is known to be a humble and compassionate human being. He has gone out of his way to help out cancer patients and has also made efforts to meet fans rather than ignore them. Well, Dravid’s humility took the Canadian U-19 team by surprise at the ICC U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The India U-19 team was up against the Canada U-19 team in a warm-up match being played in Savar, near Dhaka. The solid Indian team registered a decisive 372-run victory over the Canadian team.
A century each from Ishan Kishan and Ricky Bhui and a fifty each from Rishabh Pant and Mahipal Lomror took their score to 485. Canada were left to chase 486 runs. But with 113 runs, the Canadian team were all out. The highest score from the Canadian team was 25, scored by Harsh Thaker.
Such a defeat is capable of disheartening the best of teams and the Canadian team was only an amateur one. They were playing in conditions very different from what they are used to at home and they were inexperienced compared to the Indian team.
After the match Rahul Dravid took the initative to go and talk to the Canadian boys. Dravid consoled them saying that they did not lose because they were less skilled than the Indian team but because they came from a completely different condition. Dravid also advised the team to not get disheartened. Add to that he had a light-hearted conversation with the Canadian team where he took questions and gave some answers.
Don’t get disheartened by any means: Dravid
Wisden India quoted Canada’s bowling allrounder Mamik Luthra where he said, “He said ‘don’t get disheartened by any means’ and explained that his boys played cricket outdoors, that they trained all the time and that they didn’t do any other thing apart from cricket.
“He said because of all that, his boys were more match-fit, and that they were accustomed to pressures of a match.”
Dravid also injected confidence into the young team saying that they can get better with time and practice.
Luthra said, “He said we’re coming from the outside, but we can still catch up by the time we’re 23 or 24,” said Luthra. “If we train hard and do what is needed of us, if we do that, everything would fall into place.”
Cricket is not a very common and popular sport in Canada. For their team cricket is more of a part-time hobby. They have to strike a balance between studying and playing cricket in order to survive. More importantly, they are not used to practicing outdoors as weather conditions force them to practice indoors. For them, it has been quite an experience and will surely help them get better.
Keeping aside the defeat and dejection and the experience gained, the Canadian U-19’s are happy that they got to meet and have a conversation with the ex-Indian cricketer and present India U-19 coach, Rahul Dravid.
Canada beat Ireland U-19 by four wickets in their next warm-up match.