Sunday, 18 December 2011

A classy speech

Rahul Dravid, India's elder statesman of cricket, delivered the Bradman Oration at Canberra last week. If you want to hear a classy, graceful, charming, stylish speech, look no further. Class, grace, charm and style define the man and perhaps it is but natural, that his speech was all of that.  It is about cricket, of course, but even if you are not a cricket fan, listen to it if you have the time - this is how a speech should be made. Its 40 mts long, but I really wished it wouldn't end.

Rahul's speech follows in the lines of another classic speech - from Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, when  he delivered the Cowdrey lecture in July. Another gem, you can listen to here .

English oration is alive and well in the colonies, atleast in the sporting world !


  1. Heard this a couple days ago and posted on FB. Absolutely loved it. He's done such a fine job at educating the world about what cricket means to India, and has also touched on what he thinks the future should look like.

  2. read the transcript..awesome speech..wall rocks :)

  3. Well, here is a cricketer who has never whined about anything. A true individual who performed all his roles with grace and elan. He has lived in an era when the great Sachin has been around - perhaps the only reason why he has been talked or written about so less as compared to his achievements. Superb oration and quite relevant thoughts. Take a bow Rahul!

    Not sure if you read this piece - hope you may like this one...

  4. I had a hunch you were going to write about this speech this weekend. Gem! The speech reflects the personality- understated, dignified and above all full of charecter.

  5. Ahem to all your words w.r.t the post. He definitely has one hell of a sense of humor.

  6. A HUGE Rahul fan from school had put the video on fb. But I am not going to comment on the speech, for the fear of soiling it (for lack of a better expression).

    Thinking about your last lines though, I wonder what goes on in school these days. I hope all those elocutions, debates and extempores are still alive. It's a different high watching someone speak such heart steering words in front of u. And it's even higher a feeling preparing a speech like that, delivering it with your heart in it and watching the expressions of your audience.

  7. @Shachi - Indeed. The speech is so much his style and therefore genuine, but I think Ramachandra Guha wrote it !!

    @Gils - How can a wall rock ? :):)

    @Vishal - Thanks for the link. Beautiful post from Sriram

    @Kiwi - Characte is the word

    @Zeno - Yes, the understated humour was excellent

    @Deepa - Oh yes - elocution is alive and well ; after all Indians love to talk. I have heard som speeches, in English and in regional languages from yougsters which were outstanding.

  8. Sandhya Sriram19/12/11

    wow, i dont think i would have ever in life spent 40 mins listening to a speech on the internet if it were not linked on your blog. but now i realise, what an amazing thing it is.

    Class is one word. depth is another. polite humour is a third, and you count on - Elocution (like deepa said), maturity he displayed in discussing sensitive topics and so on. but what stands apart is the "from the heart" views.

    when he spoke about how each of the cricketers in India have risen to what they have, When he spoke about Sachin and Don Bradman, when he spoke about what India felt on lifting of the world cup, it almost brought a tear to the eyes.

    of course, he almost read it out from the paper, of course, he didnt ooze with energy when he spoke, of course, there were few stammers, but then, he connected with his audience so well.

    my respect for this person in particular and the game in general has gone notches up after this speech.

    Three cheers Ramesh for this.

  9. @sandhya - Oh there are some lovely speeches on Youtube - worth a browse on a lazy rainy day.

    As I said earlier, I still think Ramachandra Guha wrote it, but it does reflect closely what Rahul Dravi himself is.

  10. Thanks Ramesh for the Cowdrey lecture link. I did read some excerpts in news papers about Sangakkara's comments on the cricket administration, but the full speech is amazing. What an insight into SL's cricket history, very good one and touching as well. The soldier's comments to him in SL, after Pakistan terror incident, really shows how cricket is more than a sport and religion in the sub continent. :-)

  11. Yep, a classy speech. The subtle humour added to the class.

    I felt he could have shown some more energy though...

  12. @Kotla - Yes the Cowdrey lecture was another classic. Amazing, how erudite Sangakarra is.

    @Hema - Its just Dravid being Dravid - Understated and letting the words do the talking.

  13. What I like about the speech is Mark Nicloas introduction to Dravid. It is but ,a well known fact, that he is the true ambassador of the game in its purest form. He epitomises cricket for its gracefulness,dignity and true class. I am reminded of G Vishwanath, who I thought was a better gifted player than Sunny, but like Dravid was always understated during the Little Master's reign. I wish that he stays on for some more time and remain in touch with Indian cricket long after his retirement

  14. @Sanjay - Yes the comparison to Vishwanath is an inevitable one. Wonderfully put comment - thanks Sanjay


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