The hint was as subtle as the unobtrusive manner in which he played his cricket. A single line press release that popped into the mail-boxes of sports journalists on Thursday morning, stated: “Mr. N. Srinivasan, President, BCCI, and Mr. Rahul Dravid will address the media at 12.30 p.m. on Friday, 9 March 2012, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.”
Dravid is likely to announce his retirement from a game he has graced with such class and distinction at the international level ever since that 95 in his debut Test at Lord's in 1996. Test cricket's second highest run-getter (13,288) and the World record holder for the highest number of catches (210) is expected to pause his cricketing journey though fans can still watch him during this season's Indian Premier League, in which he will lead Rajasthan Royals.
Speculation has been rife about his impending departure ever since the Australian tour saddled him with meagre returns (194 runs averaging 24.25). Strangely, the down-turn against Michael Clarke's men came after a stupendous season in which Dravid carved five centuries across Kingston, Lord's, Nottingham, The Oval and Kolkata.
Dravid earlier retired from One Day Internationals following the England tour and his numbers in the shorter version are equally impressive at 10,889 runs. The introspective man from Bangalore also led India to Test series triumphs in Pakistan, the West Indies and England though the early exit from the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean marred his slate.
A glorious career has drawn to a close and Friday could well spell its final full-stop.