A date with Rahul Dravid

Cricketer Rahul Dravid at the Indian Women's Press Corps in New Delhi on Saturday.

Cricketer Rahul Dravid at the Indian Women's Press Corps in New Delhi on Saturday.  

IT IS not often that Rahul Dravid has a "complaint'' about having too few women watch his performance. But this time for a change, the cricketer claimed to be "disappointed'' at not having an all-woman audience.

Speaking at the Indian Women's Press Corps in a room packed with old as well as young Delhi journalists trying to quiz Dravid on everything else but his batting average, "The Wall'' certainly lived up to his name and steadily scored on all the questions bowled at him about his personal life. "The family has to sometimes face the negative side of my success. It is a challenge, I got married just a year back and my wife is getting used to it. Success comes with its own share of rewards and the family often has to make a sacrifice,'' he said.

Probably the quietest Press conference the Indian Women's Press Corps had ever seen, even noisy mobile phones -- the lifeline of most journalists -- were silent as Rahul held his audience spellbound for his whole knock. Answering all the questions with the correct technique, for which he is well known on the pitch, Dravid once again said that he is a favourite with the girls as well as the boys. While he insisted that his fan following has decreased after his wedding, judging by the effect he had on some of the young girls who came to see him today, he still seems to be quite eligible.

Talking about his recent experience in Pakistan, the cricketer stated: "I think it was a good lesson. It was quite a unique tour for us and it was a new experience for the boys. We learnt a lot from our trip.''

And with no press interaction being complete without a mention of the controversial decision about not allowing Sachin Tendulkar to score a double century, Dravid managed to maintain his cool. "It was a tough decision, but every decision is tough. I wish I had the advantage of hindsight. But as far as Sachin and I go, we have played a lot of cricket with each other and it has never been a personal issue with us."

By Mandira Nayar

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