(Highlights of Rahul Dravid's speech, made at the function organized by the BCCI to felicitate him in Mumbai)

        To the BCCI, former Indian players, members of the Indian cricket team, my various other colleagues, ladies and gentlemen...
        At one time, I was like any other kid in the street, any other kid in India with love for this game and a desire to play for India. I feel so blessed that I have been able to live that dream for 16 years. Obviously, like some of the other guys have mentioned, for the next couple of months (when the IPL will be on) it does not feel like I have retired in some ways. It is still time to stay fit - it is getting harder and harder, I'm not enjoying going to gym, but I am still being forced to, at least for the next two months.
       I have had a chance over the last three weeks to try and think about what playing for India meant to me. What was this dream? What it has given me? Playing for India gave me the opportunity to travel the world, to play on some of the greatest grounds in the world. In cities and countries that I had only heard of on the radio, listening to radio commentary with my father on waking up in the morning and picking up the newspaper to see what Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, G.R. Viswanath had done the next day. For me to have the opportunity to play on these great grounds, to play against some of the greatest players- players that I had been growing up looking up to, it was fantastic. Cricket has given a lifetime of experiences.
      It has made me give joy to a lot of people by just playing a sport that I love. I have experienced some unbelievable victories and crushing defeats in my career as a first class cricketer. What I have realized with it is everything does pass and we can endure and we can survive. Playing for India humbled me. It made me appreciate how lucky I was to be able to do what I did for so long.
      When i look back on this long journey... You recognize that you have been very fortunate very lucky. You have had the support of so many who have made this dream possible. I truly feel that I have been in some ways at the right place, at the right time. for to be able to stand here in front of some of my heroes, people whom I admire, people whom I respect and to be able to talk to you all...I think it has not been culmination of my efforts but the efforts of so many people who have gone into making this wonderful day possible. I will probably miss out on a few people when I speak and I hope that they forgive me but I would like to put on record and recognize so many people who were behind the scenes: groundsmen, scorers, umpires, people who organize a game. Without their contributions these hundreds would not have been possible, these memories would not have been possible.     
      When I stand here and I look at some of the senior players who have been kind enough to come for this occasion, I feel really lucky. As a young boy, I dreamt of just being able to get an autograph out of them, just to be able to meet them. This sport has given me a chance to interact with some of them. I would like to thank all my senior cricketers, all my heroes, all my role models for inspiring me, for leaving behind a legacy that I was very conscious of a legacy of Indian cricket that I was very aware of. It meant something to me, and of the life I wanted to lead. And something that I hope they will feel I have tried to take forward.
      The various teams and cricketers that I have played within Karnataka and in India have been the highlight of my career and will also be some of my fondest memories. Without my team mates... some of whom have spoken most eloquently and most touchingly of our time together. Thanks Anil, Thanks Saurav, Thanks Laxie, and thanks Mahi, your words have meant a lot to me. The memories we have shared as a team, and some of the victories and things we have achieved will be special and will remain special for me. I would like believe that we took a great legacy of the Indian team forward. We have left a strong legacy for Mahi and his young team to take forward. I have no doubt that they will take it to even greater heights.
     Mahi, I think you can be really proud of what you have done with this Indian cricket team. To watch you lift the world cup that day, it is almost a year to the day, was very special to me. especially after what happened in 2007, to see a team and see a group of boys go on to win the world cup was indeed memorable. And to see something like watching Kapil Dev, lift the world cup, as a ten year old that inspired me, to see a group of cricketers and a generation of cricketers that I had played with do it again in 2011, was special. I know that you have inspired a whole host of ten years old by what you and your team did last year. There are challenges as you have noticed over the last bit of time, But I truly believe you have got the right temperament and right capability to take the legacy of Indian cricket forward.
    A lot of names and a lot of people I mentioned are legends, and have great records in terms of statistics. Sometimes the people who achieve great things, of course they do through hard work and sacrifice, but they are also very lucky. I have played with a lot of people who in the book of history of Indian cricket probably would not be considered great, at least statistically, but in my eyes everyone who played the game with me and played it with an intention to win, with a desire to win and gave it everything, was a hero. And I learned so much from you. it was inspiring to watch people work so hard and struggle so much and sometimes not achieve what they want and come back and do it again and again. I would like to thank all my team mates for your memories, your friendship. Nothing of this would have been possible without you.
    I would like to place on record my thanks to the KSCA, which was my local state association where I grew up, for their support, their guidance. Also the various officials at the BCCI for the various times when they gave me the right kind of encouragement and support. It has been a fascinating journey for me to see where Indian cricket has gone from the time I started in 1996.
   All that I have read and listened to has really humbled me. It has humbled me not because a lot has been written and said, Which in this day and age with so much media and publicity is bound to happen, but what really touched me was the care, the attention and the thought that people have put into writing some of the really nice things they have said about me.
   I may not be playing for India anymore but to the present Indian team what I would like to say is: guys, I will watch with great interest what I think is an extremely exciting and really talented group of young cricketers. I hope Indian cricket will always be a strong force, both on the field and off the field. And I have no doubt that I would take great pleasure, with a cup of tea and a biscuit in my hand, In watching you guys achieve great things.
  Thank you very much.