There are moments when a person is reborn. There are moments of sheer pride. Then, there are moments when one feels the immense joy of being. Recognition and opinions do not matter as such moments have honesty written all over them. Rahul Dravid, in a recent spellbinding speech in the Bradman Oration ceremony, spoke of such moments. It gave us a glimpse of the thought process of a man who has given Indian cricket so much to treasure. Althouh I will highly recommend you watch the entire speech, what I found most fascinating was the way Dravid concluded-
Before I conclude, I also want to talk briefly about an experience I have often had over the course of my career. It is not to do with individuals or incidents, but one I believe is important to share. I have sometimes found myself in the middle of a big game, standing at slip or even at the non-strikers end and suddenly realised that everything else has vanished. At that moment, all that exists is the contest and the very real sense of the joy that comes from playing the game.
It is an almost meditative experience, where you reconnect with the game just like you did years ago, when you first began, when you hit your first boundary, took the first catch, scored your first century, or were involved in a big victory. It lasts for a very fleeting passage of time, but it is a very precious instant and every cricketer should hang on to it.
I know it is utterly fanciful to expect professional cricketers to play the game like amateurs; but the trick, I believe, is taking the spirit of the amateur – of discovery, of learning, of pure joy, of playing by the rules – into our profession. Taking it to practice or play, even when there’s an epidemic of white-line fever breaking out all over the field.
What a speech by one of the finest contemporary artists of cricket. The positive attitude in the speech is striking. From the inspiring stories of cricketers who came from remote places, to the heart warming glimpse into the team’s dressing room, every moment of the speech leaves you overjoyed.