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Monday, October 6, 2008

Sachin unveils 'Wall' to mark Dravid's 10,000 Test runs

Rahul Dravid's 10,000 Test runs were celebrated at Chinnaswamy stadium with Sachin Tendulkar unveiling a wall of 10,000 bricks. It was a wall of commitment, consistency and class written all over it to describe the former India skipper. Built by Bangalore-based realtor Skyline group, the Wall projects Dravid in metal statue playing his trademark cover-drive and features the legendary batsman's finest cricketing moments in both forms of cricket. Dravid is popularly considered to be 'the wall' of Indian batting for his impenetrable technique and diligence. Unveiling the Wall, Tendulkar said Dravid truly deserved such recognition and would remain a testimony for all his achievements. "It is a great credit to his family. More than a great cricketer and a great batsman, Rahul is a perfect gentleman on and off the field. The Wall will inspire every budding cricketer to emulate Rahul and his batting skills," Tendulkar said. A live electronic unit in the top corner on the right displays Dravid's current score -- 10,246 runs in Test cricket. The unit will keep ticking as Dravid scores runs in Tests played in India or overseas, Skyline group managing director Avinash Prabhu said at a simple ceremony, graced by former and present cricketers. Dravid is the brand ambassador for the Skyline group. His parents - Sharad and Pushpa - were present on the occasion. Located strategically outside the pavilion-end, the Wall is visible from the famous MG. Road in downtown and a few yards away from Kumble circle, christened after Indian Test skipper's 10-wicket haul in second Test against Pakistan in February 1999 in Delhi. "The Wall is a tribute to Dravid's legendary contribution to Indian cricket and his outstanding achievements on and off the field. The tall structure will be a new landmark in India's IT hub and serve as an immortal reminder of Dravid's great feats," Prabhu, a classmate of Dravid, said in his brief address on the occasion. In his remarks, Dravid said though he was humbled by the honour, he felt embarrassed to be present in the midst of legendary cricketers like Sachin, former off-spinner EAS. Prasanna, yesteryear spin bowler BS Chandrasekhar, former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani and others. "For me the greatest thing is to play for the country and be in the company of a legendary cricketer who also scored over 10,000 plus runs. I am sure this Wall will inspire budding cricketers. I am also touched that the Wall is erected where I began my cricketing career," Dravid said amidst applause. Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary and former Indian batsman Brijesh Patel said it was a momentous day for the Chinnaswamy stadium. "Dravid is ranked along with former legendary cricket Gundappa Vishwanath and former Indian badminton champion Prakash Padukone who also hail from Karnataka. By scoring 10,000 plus runs in both forms of cricket, Dravid is counted among the world's top six legendary batsmen, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara and Allan Border," Patel said. Having watched Dravid from his younger days, Patel said the Bangalore-born lad was level-headed, intensely focused and good student of the game. "Dravid has an outstanding batting average in Test cricket. It is not for nothing he is considered the 'Wall' for his commitment, consistency and class," Patel said.

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