In February 1991,an 18-year-old debutant made 82 in the first innings of Karnatakas Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal against Maharashtra at Nehru Stadium in Pune. Twenty-two years later,he recalled this innings and other fond memories of Pune,returning to the city as Rajasthan Royals skipper.
Rahul Dravid,speaking at a promotional event on the eve of Rajasthans IPL match against Pune Warriors,he said,I made my first class debut here in 1991,and Ive played a lot of matches at Nehru Stadium,so I have plenty of fond memories, he said.
For the last four-five years,there hasnt been any international cricket in Pune,but now,thanks to the new stadium,Im sure people of the city will get to enjoy watching India play again. Dravid was also hopeful of Maharashtra again producing international cricketers soon. Maharashtra had a very good Ranji season last year,and have come into the Elite division. When I was young,the team had a lot of good players. Now they have a young side,and since they are back in the Elite division,Im sure selectors will take a good look at their performances.
Asked if the Pimpri-born Aditya Dole would get a game for Royals this season,Dravid said competition for places would make it difficult this year. But hes an important member of our squad. If not this season,Im sure it will be the next, he added.
Dravid praised opener Ajinkya Rahane,whose form has seen him hold onto the Orange Cap (for being highest scorer in the tournament) through the season. Im not surprised (by Rahanes performance). Anyone who averages so much in domestic cricket for five years is a quality player, he said.