If cricket is a gentleman’s game then Rahul Dravid is one of the best advertisers of it. The former India captain, apart from his water-tight technique and high-class batsmanship, was also renowned for his behaviour both on and off the field. Despite having some of the fiercest duels on the cricket field with the likes of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Shane Bond and many more, Dravid seldom lost his cool and forgot that it’s just a battle between the bat and ball. Such was Dravid’s demeanour that he rarely showed descent even after being given out because of an umpiring error. Highlighting one such incident, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif narrated how the India legend was wrongly given out caught behind in an India vs Pakistan ODI in 1996 thanks to the vociferous appeal of former Pakistan leggie Mushtaq Ahmed.
Latif recalled the first ODI of the Sharjah Cup in 1996 in Sharjah where Rahul Dravid was dismissed by Mushtaq Ahmed. Dravid, who had made his ODI debut for India barely a fortnight ago, was playing his third ODI and his second match against Pakistan.
“They played against us in Sharjah. Rahul, unfortunately, was caught behind. Mushtaq Ahmed bowled a delivery and made a huge appeal. We appealed alongside him, he was given out. After the match, Dravid asked ‘was I out’, and I said ‘no, brother, Mushtaq tang karta hai bohot (It’s Musthaq’s habit to appeal),” Latif said in a YouTube show called ‘Caught Behind’.
Dravid was dismissed by Mushtaq Ahmed for 3 and India were bowled out for 233, chasing Pakistan’s 272 as the Aameer Sohail-led side won the match by 38 runs.
Latif also recalled Dravid’s Test debut a couple of months later at Lord’s against England.
“Both Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly had made their debuts in England and incidentally we were also there at that point of time in 1996. We met with the entire team when the Prime Minister invited us for lunch. I met these two young cricketers. They both played well,” Latif said.