What fun it was to watch cricket when India had Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly in their batting lineup – four world-class stars, all graceful, but very much unique on their own.
So, how nice it was then when the BCCI announced that the leading former stars would be part of the BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee; well, almost all of them.
One name that was conspicuous by its absence was Dravid, with the BCCI apparently stating India's best No.3 of all-time had declined the role owing to other commitments.
So, was it just a matter of having too much on his plate, or was there some other issue?
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, that issue might just be Sourav Ganguly. The report, quoting a BCCI official, said Dravid had decided against taking up the offer owing to the fact that he did not want a "battle of egos", especially with his former skipper Ganguly.
"It seems he [Dravid] isn't comfortable working with Sourav," a senior BCCI official told HT. "That's why his name isn't on the list," a BCCI official said.
"A cricketer like him wouldn't want to be involved in a battle of egos," another official added.
Now, no team can have all players in harmony and getting along like they have been best friends for life. It just does not happen. After all, one of the best combinations in the history of the sport – Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist – did not see eye to eye, but that did not stop Gilchrist from almost-always taking the catches and making the stumpings now did it.
So, Dravid could have just as easily done that as well, especially since the roles for all three – Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman – are different. Apparently Tendulkar will concentrate on the batting aspect of the game, while Ganguly will give advice on improving India's overseas performances, with Laxman helping out in the identification of upcoming players, who can add a bit more strength to the squad and give competition to the ones already established in the side.
And how often would these four have met together for their roles? Not too many times a year is it. Therefore, that pinch of salt for the quotes might be in order.
Dravid, who is currently a mentor of the IPL team the Rajasthan Royals, has one of the best brains of the game, and it is a loss for India that he could not find the time or had other issues which could not be sorted out. What the actual reason is, maybe time will eventually tell; until then the shake of the forehead continues, wishing this true gentleman of the game was also part of India's immediate cricketing future.