Mumbai: A motivational book about top Indian sportspersons who overcame disability and adversity to become champions, and co-authored by former international shuttler Sanjay Sharma, was launched by former Test cricketer Rahul Dravid at suburban Khar Gymkhana here today.
In their book, Sharma and his daughter Medini have captured stories of differently-abled Indian sportspersons who went on to achieve great things on the sports field.
Former India cricket captain Dravid, an avid reader, said he was inspired by the story of Murlikant Petkar, who was disabled during the 1965 war against Pakistan, sustaining severe bullet wounds, but won an individual gold medal in the 1972 Paralympics in Germany.
“As a player, when you play cricket, you often find words like courage and brave by journalists to describe sporting achievements. When I read this book, I realised that courage is not what we do on a cricket field,” the 41-year-old said.
“The Wall” recalled his experience of meeting former Test captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for the first time, saying he was struck by the fact that the late cricketer had no sense of resentment about the car accident in England that robbed him of vision on one eye.
“When I got into the Indian team I was, as most young kids were, a huge fan of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. I hadn’t watch him play but I had seen him. I heard Vishy (Gundappa Vishwanath) and Erapalli Prasanna talk about him a lot. So, in 1997 I got into the team and I was in Delhi to play a Test match against Australia. I thought it would be a good opportunity to go and meet Mr Pataudi, just to talk to him,” Dravid said.
“I didn’t have the courage to ask him up or pick up the phone and, through a common friend, I finally managed to arrange it (a meeting). We spoke a lot about cricket, and I asked him a lot of questions about captaincy and various things about batting,” said Dravid.