The cricketing fraternity came together on Tuesday to raise a toast for the retired Rahul Dravid as they fondly remembered the immense contribution of the batting stalwart who emotionally remarked that he would miss being part of the Indian dressing room.
Accolades such as "huge pillar" of Indian cricket "greatest number 3 bat" and one of the "best cricketers and ambassadors" poured in from his former and current teammates who paid glowing tributes in a star-studded felicitation function.
Former captains Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and VVS Laxman were among those who spoke at the function attended by a galaxy of former cricketers, BCCI officials and other dignitaries.
While describing him as a "huge pillar", Ganguly said Dravid, who announced his retirement from international cricket on March 9, was a great ambassador of the game.
"He was one of the huge pillar through which Indian cricket went forward. He is one of the greatest batsmen not just in India but in world cricket," Ganguly said.
"You (Dravid) played in an era when Indian cricket went from strength to strength."
Ganguly rated his 180 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001 as Dravid's best knock.
"As far his best knocks are concerned, there are bound to be debates. But as I had said always, the one at Eden Gardens is the best. Though I rate the knocks overseas highly, I think the knock at Eden with VVS (Laxman) not only established him in world cricket but was also important for Indian cricket.
"I am happy that he could take the decision on his own. His contribution to Indian cricket isn't finished with the number of runs he has scored or the catches he has taken, he is a great ambassador."
The left-hander said he was lucky to have Dravid as his deputy when he was the captain of the Indian team.
"I was lucky to have you as vice-captain for five years, the work behind you and John (Wright) did."
Image: Cricketer Rahul Dravid is honoured by the BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale and Anurag Thakur (R) in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Text and Images: PTI