On Sunday evening at the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid bid goodbye to their limited-overs' careers. While Sachin had announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League, Dravid - who has not indicated as much - is likely to do the same. The Master Blaster will still be seen in Tests while the world rose as one to salute 'The Wall' for a final time.
The build-up to the Champions League T20 final between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals was dominated by the final 'confrontation' between Sachin and Dravid in any form of recognized cricket. Prior to the clash, in an interview with Ravi Shastri, both legends had nothing but words of praise for each other. While Dravid called Sachin an "inspiration", the latter said he always looked up to Dravid in times of difficulty.
Both players were given a guard of honour by their respective teams - Sachin not once, but twice! When they departed from the crease - both were co-incidentally bowled - Dravid and Tendulkar were given a raucous applause by those in the stadium and those watching at home. Social networking sites were flooded with emotional goodbye's to the two icons of Indian cricket. At the end of it all, Mumbai beat Rajasthan to be crowned the 2013 CLT20 champions, but the result was dwarfed by the outpouring of sentiment.
Shane Warne, who preceded Dravid as captain of a fledgling Royals side was one of the first to wish Rahul Dravid.
Great effort from the royals today, congrats to the Mumbai Indians.. Also, congrats to my friend Rahul Dravid-well done buddy ! #HallaBol— Shane Warne (@warne888) October 6, 2013
Rajasthan co-owner Shilpa Shetty paid tribute to her out-going skipper despite defeat.
We Lost but not without a fight..So so proud of the Royals..Played so well..Will miss you Rahul Dravid,Cricket will miss you!— SHILPA SHETTY (@TheShilpaShetty) October 6, 2013
Former India batsman and cricket commentator Sanjay Manjrekar expressed his privilege at watching Dravid play.
Rahul Dravid - I have never met a cricketer with such intelligence & abundant knowledge of the world he lives in.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) October 7, 2013
Heaping praise on reigning IPL and CLT20 champions was Yuvraj Singh, who is on a high after his comeback into the national squad.
Congratulations to Mumbai Indians most consistent team this year! Rr outstanding tournament ! Rahul Dravid. Thank u for the memories— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) October 6, 2013
From one legend to another, West Indian great Brian Lara cannot help but admire Sachin's exquisite shot-playing ability.
Going by the sentiments on Twitter, cricket will definitely be a lesser place without Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.