Rahul Dravid is not just a name, it's an emotion for Indian cricket fans. He is the technically most sound batter to have ever played for India. While some players gain respect by wearing Blue Jersey, Rahul Dravid increased the respect for Blue Jersey by wearing it. It's an undeniable fact that he is one of the greatest servants of Indian cricket. But what if I tell you, the Wall of Indian cricket also played for Scotland? Would you believe it ??
It's true. Mr . Dependable of the Indian team wore another Blue Jersey for 3 months in 2003, and that jersey was Scottish National team jersey. His short stint with the Scottish team yielded them greatly, and Scotland always thanked the elegant batter for his services. So how did it all happen? Well, there is an interesting story to this.
Post India's success in the 2003 World cup, Indian team seniors had been given a good amount of break. During this break, the Chief Executive of Scottish Cricket Union, Gwynne Jones approached the then coach of the Indian team John Wright. He requested Wright to send an Indian superstar of the game to come to help the Scottish Team raise their standard of the game. Initially, he was keen on having Sachin Tendulkar, but John Wright said the best man to do it was none other than Rahul Dravid.
Always keen to accept challenges, Dravid accepted this one immediately. Newlywed Dravid, along with his wife Vijeta travelled to Scotland. The NRIs in Scotland were so desperate to have the Wall of Indian cricket help the Scottish team, that they raised the amount of 45000 pounds to pay to the superstar by arranging parties and events in their area.
And he didn't disappoint them. He played a total of 12 games for Scotland Saltirez, where 11 games were against county teams, and 1 tour game was against Pakistan. While playing a dozen of games for them, Dravid amassed 600 runs overall, with an average of 66.66. He scored 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries. Although his team could only win 1 match out of the 12, he turned out to be the highest run-getter in the tournament.
But his impact on the Scottish team was more than just the runs he scores. While batting in the nets, he always put a radio set on his helmet and gave minute details about his batting and his shot selection. This helped all the other players tremendously improve their game. The then coach of Scotland, Tony Judd mentioned Dravid's impact as "priceless", as his insights helped groom the Scottish youngsters.
Interestingly the current captain of the Scottish team, Kyle Coetzer was also a part of the squad for which Dravid played. During a press conference in the T20 world cup 2021, he recalled Dravid's appearance for Scotland. Coetzer mentioned that it was great learning for all of us young guys. He also mentioned one of the incidents where he and Dravid were involved in a run-out, where Dravid went on to score a century later in that match.
In a nutshell, Dravid accomplished the challenge elegantly, just like he always did for Men in Blue. His inclusion lifted the standard of Scottish batting. And his efforts were always applauded by the Scottish team and fans. In 2007 when Dravid was the captain of India for one odd game to be played in Scotland, he received a standing ovation and thunderous applause from the entire crowd.
In this way, the Mr, Dependable of Indian cricket played for Scotland and also helped them greatly. There are several instances of this great man helping others selflessly, but this is the one which is one of those which stands out amongst all the others. Dravid is truly a gentleman, a man of ethics and an inspiration for many. One does not know what happens to Men in Blue in future, but whenever will speak about Indian cricket, as well as Scottish cricket, this legend's name will always be written in golden words.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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