There are many stories about Rahul Dravid flying around, most of them about his brilliant batting or down to earth gentleman like personality. And they are all right, the man is a gentleman superstar. It was an honour to ever see him bat, and an even more amazing honour to meet him. But my story is a little different.
Rahul Dravid is the reason my wife and I got married.
Before meeting me, my wife was a cricket-obsessed nerd just like we are, and one day when she was trawling the shit soaked anus of the interweb, she found her way here.
One day I wrote about a torturous innings when Rahul Dravid made 3 ones off a katrillion deliveries at the G while being dropped 48 times.
It was fucking painful to watch someone you admire so much fail in such a prolonged and awkward way.
Anyone who saw that would have thought some billionaire had cloned Dravid’s body and just walked onto the field.
He was essentially a dog that had been run over by a car who was just begging for another car to run him over.
I think Mitchell Johnson was the car that day.
At the end of the day’s play I wrote all about this episode.
“Dravid batted like a man who had just been gelded. It was ugly to watch, and the fact a batsman like that could be given a Bronx cheer for finally getting off the mark is horrible.
If Dravid was my dog, I’d take him out to the country and I’d take a shovel as well.”
I was pissed off he was opening, I was pissed off he was doing it badly, and mostly I was pissed off that I had to see him like this.
I’d always loved Dravid.
Before an Australia India series, Australians would all start talking up Tendulkar, and then VVS Laxman, but Dravid never really did it for them.
They liked a fighter, but he was the other guy to them, the boring one. Even when he was making double hundreds in Adelaide.
So to see him like this just left me cold.
But, it wasn’t the first time Dravid had dragged his carcass around the crease like this.
And at one of the other times in the UK, my future wife had been there, and lived the same sort of horror I had. You know the horror, that it’s funny, but you wish it wasn’t happening to Dravid.
Seeing my words about Dravid meant she wrote a comment, and we bonded over seeing Dravid at his worst.
Later on we’d get married and she’d slip a ring on my left hand, which is very similar to my right hand that years later shook Dravid’s right hand.
Our wedding was at the Oval, the place of Rahul Dravid’s last overseas Test century.
At the reception the tables were named after cricket grounds. One was the MCG, and we used this photo.
Yes, that’s Rahul Dravid just a couple of days before he would set into motion a series of events that would lead my wife and I to marry.
So, when I say “thanks, Rahul”, I fucken mean it.