Dravid decides to step down

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/rahuldravid1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Rahul Dravid has resigned as the captain of the Indian cricket team. He met BCCI Chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Thursday and told him he wants to step down

Updated: September 14, 2007 14:02 IST
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New Delhi:

Rahul Dravid has resigned as the captain of the Indian cricket team. He met BCCI Chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Thursday and told him he wants to step down as captain and concentrate on his game.

He told Pawar that he is not interested in retaining the skipper's job for the series coming up in Australia.

While it's bad news for fans, the good news is that Rahul will not hang up his cricket boots. He has assured Pawar that as a batsman and senior player he will give his full support for his successor.

The next BCCI meeting will take place on September 18, and the matter will be taken up then. BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla said the Board will consider his request and look for a successor.

"He has expressed his desire to quit and has written a letter to the Board president in this regard. The Board will definitely consider his request," Shukla said.

"He has been requesting for the past couple of days. He was feeling burdened as a player and captain. The BCCI will now consider the options," he said.

Shukla said Dravid did not give any indication during the tour of England that he wanted to step down. "I think the reasons are personal. He must have pondered over it".

"Dravid wants to concentrate on his game," said BCCI President Sharad Pawar. He also said that Dravid wanted a new person to get an opportunity and will extend full cooperation to his successor.

"Dravid spoke to me earlier too, then again yesterday," said Pawar. "We should respect his decision."

But BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said the board will try to persuade Dravid to reconsider his decision,

"He is such a great captain and we've performed well under him. This was his desire, so he told the president and now we'll tell the selection committee. It has come as a surprise to us, since he is a good captain.

"How can one say that we don't have a coach or a captain now; the captain is always selected before a series and we have two coaches.

"These things keep happening in cricket, players like to enjoy their cricket. This is Rahul's decision, though everyone will try to convince him but ultimately this matter is in the purview of the Selection Committee," said Niranjan Shah.

But the board may have already zeroed in on 20-20 captain M S Dhoni for leading the country in one-dayers.

Dravid's achievements:

Rahul Dravid led India to a historic Test series win against the West Indies in their home soil in 2006.

Since 1971, India had never won a Test series in the West Indies. This was also their first prominent series win outside the Indian subcontinent (barring the win against Zimbabwe in 2005) since 1986.

Under Dravid's captaincy the Indian team tied the previous record of most consecutive One-Day International wins for an Indian team thus equalling the record run that the Indian team had achieved under Sourav Ganguly in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa (8).

During his captaincy the Indian team broke the 14-match West Indies record for most consecutive won matches in One-Day Internationals while chasing a total.

For this 17 match run, Dravid was the captain for 15 matches and Sourav Ganguly was the captain for the other two. This streak was broken on 5/20/06, when India lost to the West Indies by one run at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

Dravid is the first captain to lead India to a Test match victory against South Africa on South African soil.

He became only the third captain from India to win a Test series in England. This feat was achieved after 21 years, the other two captains being Kapil Dev (1986) and Ajit Wadekar (1971).

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket team in Durban is shocked by Dravid's decision.

The last time anyone caught a glimpse of Rahul Dravid was on Thursday at the launch of the Indian Premier League. Dravid gave no hint as to his future plan of action.

The Indian selectors have said they are as surprised as all of India about Dravid's desire to step down.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV after the BCCI's launch of the IPL Dilip Vengsarkar admitted that M S Dhoni is a fine prospect.

Dravid captained India in 25 Tests, and won 8 matches, lost 6, while 11 matches were drawn. Of 79 ODIs he played as captain, India won 42 of the matches and 33 were drawn. (With PTI inputs)

Dravid Details:
Full name: Rahul Sharad Dravid
Born: January 11, 1973, Indore
Current age: 34 years 246 days
Major teams: India, Scotland, ACC Asian XI, ICC World XI, Karnataka, Kent
Nickname: The Wall
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak
Fielding position: Occasional wicketkeeper
Education: St Joseph's Boys' High School

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