While the Scotland cricket team will take the field today against India in one of their biggest ever games, captain Kyle Coetzer has already played alongside one of their cricketing greats.
Coetzer, as a young player making his way in the game, and Dravid were team-mates for the Scottish Saltires in 2003, when they had a team in the domestic one-day league in the English county game.
Indian legend Dravid will take over as head coach of the national side after the T20 World Cup, replacing Ravi Shastri at the helm.
Ahead of leading Scotland out against India in Dubai, Coetzer recalled his memories of playing alongside the man known as “The Wall”.
“It’s a period I remember well,” said Coetzer. “I did remind Rahul that in one of my first ever games for Scotland against a county side, we were involved in a run out.
“I was the person run out and he wasn’t. I think that was fair enough given he was the mainstay of the Scotland team then and we had to make sure he performed well and scored runs.
“I remember I got a clear ‘no!’ and was sent back. That was against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, I remember that day well.
“He was always a very humble and very respectful person. He spoke so highly and so well to all the players. He’s a fine individual.”
Aberdonian Coetzer has come across Dravid and another India stalwart Anil Kumble in his role on ICC cricket committee, where he represents the associate member nations.
“They are two fantastic people, icons and people who are fully respected within the game,” said the Scotland captain. “Being able to spend a bit of time with them in the last couple of years has been pretty special, surreal in many ways actually.
“It’s been a real honour to have been sat next to them although in the last two years, there haven’t been that many actual meetings going on due to the pandemic.
“But listening to their views on the game, it’s really special to be able to get that insight on where they think the game needs to go. Two good people to bounce ideas off.”
“It’s a formidable challenge coming up against a strong India team full of exciting players. We’ve got to push that to one side and try to take on the challenges in front of us on the day.
Defeat to New Zealand on Wednesday means Scotland’s participation at the tournament will come to an end following Sunday’s game against Pakistan.
India resurrected their T20 World Cup campaign following a thumping 66-run win over Afghanistan on Tuesday and for Coetzer, causing an upset on Friday will require nothing short of their best performance.
“We have to focus on what we’re good at and will give us the best chance of winning,” he added. “We’ll do our homework on India and we know the skills they have. We can’t fear their players but we have to respect them.
“The excitement is there but it’s been there for every game in this tournament. Coming up against a side like India maybe throws things into a new level. The boys are really looking forward to the fixture. It’s one that has been highlighted a while ago and we’re looking forward to it.
“We said right from the start that every one of these Super 12 games was going to be a challenge, it doesn’t matter which team you came up against. The opportunity to test yourself against some of the best players in the world is a really important time for us in the Cricket Scotland journey of showing what we can do and what we’re capable of.
“We realise we have to play really well to give ourselves the best chance. There were opportunities against New Zealand when we look back now that could have changed the outcome of the final result. But we have to keep raising the bar and being willing to take those opportunities when they come around.”