"Thank you Rohit for that call in November....": Rahul Dravid's final speech as Indian head coach

"Thank you Rohit for that call in November....": Rahul Dravid's final speech as Indian head coach
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Bridgetown, Barbados: Following his side's ICC T20 World Cup win and conclusion of his tenure as the team's head coach, legendary cricketer Rahul Dravid delivered his last speech in front of the title-winning squad, thanking them for their time and contributions.

Following their T20 World Cup title win, Dravid's time as India's head coach has come to an end. Gautam Gambhir and WV Raman have been linked up as the next in line for the men's head coach position. The new head coach will take over during the Sri Lanka tour later in July and the National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman will be heading to Zimbabwe with a new look team for a T20I series starting from July 6 onwards.

In a video by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Dravid said that he feels short of words and thanked all the team members for their time.

"I am really short of words, but all I just want to say is thank you to everyone for making me a part of what is an incredible memory. I think all of you will remember these moments. I think, like we always say, it is not about the runs, it is not about the wickets, you will never remember your career. But you will remember moments like this. So let us really enjoy it. I could not be more prouder of you guys. To come back the way you did, the way you fought, the way we worked as a team, the resilience. There have been some disappointments over the years where we have come close, we have never been able to cross the line. But what this bunch of boys have done, what all of you have done, what everyone in the support staff has done, the hard work that we have put in, the sacrifices that we have made. You know, I think... the whole country is proud of each and every one of you and what you have achieved," said Dravid.

Dravid noted that the players and their families, be it their parents, wives, siblings, made a lot of sacrifices in their lives for a long time, just so that they could enjoy this moment together.

The legendary batter said that he could not be more grateful and thankful for the support, kindness and support shown by the team. He also thanked skipper Rohit Sharma for convincing him to continue after he wanted to leave following a heartbreaking loss to Australia in the final of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup at home.

"Just like to say, Ro, thank you very much for making that call to me in November and asking me to continue. I think it has been such a privilege and a pleasure to work with each and every one of you and every one of you, but also to Ro, thanks for the time. I know as a captain and a coach, there are a lot of times we have to chat, we have to discuss, we have to agree. We have to disagree at times, but thank you so very much," he added.

Dravid also thanked the BCCI for their work behind the scenes for making his tenure smooth.

"Each and every one of us comes through a system. Each and every one of us comes through an organization that gives us the opportunities to grow and play. So thank you very much and well done for us," he concluded.

In the final match of the tournament, India won the toss and opted to bat first. After being reduced to 34/3, a counter-attacking partnership between Virat Kohli (76) and Axar Patel (47 in 31 balls, with one four and four sixes) of 72 runs restored India's position in the game. A 57-run stand between Virat and Shivam Dube (27 in 16 balls, with three fours and a six) took India to 176/7 in their 20 overs.

Keshav Maharaj (2/23) and Anrich Nortje (2/26) were the top bowlers for SA. Marco Jansen and Aiden Markram took a wicket each.

In the run chase of 177 runs, Proteas was reduced to 12/2 and then a 58-run partnership between Quinton de Kock (39 in 31 balls, with four boundaries and a six) and Tristan Stubbs (31 in 21 balls, with three fours and a six) brought back SA into the game. A half-century by Heinrich Klaasen (52 in 27 balls, with two fours and five sixes) threatened to take the game away from India. However, Arshdeep Singh (2/18), Jasprit Bumrah (2/20) and Hardik Pandya (3/20) made a fine comeback in death overs, keeping SA to 169/8 in their 20 overs.

Virat secured the 'Player of the Match' for his performance. Now, by securing their first ICC title since the Champions Trophy in 2013, India has ended their ICC trophy drought.