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Dravid confirms international retirement

India legend and MCC World Cricket committee member Rahul Dravid has confirmed his retirement from Test cricket at a press conference in Bangalore.

Dravid, who played his final ODI in England last year, retires from the Test arena as the second highest scoring batsman of all time, behind Sachin Tendulkar, with 13,288 runs.

He also holds the record for outfield Test catches, with 210.

The 39-year-old said: "I have had a wonderful time. Now it's time for a new generation of young players to take it forward and make history.

"It was about playing with dignity, upholding the spirit of the game. I have tried my best. I leave with sadness but also with pride."

Dravid made his debut as a 23-year-old at Lord's in 1996, scoring a composed 95, and went on to play in 164 Tests for his country.

His illustrious career came full circle in 2011 when he made a century at Lord's on his last Test appearance at the Home of Cricket, scoring 103 to finally etch his name on the famous Lord's Honours Boards.

Despite five Test centuries in 2011 though, Dravid struggled on the recent tour of Australia, averaging just 24 in eight innings as India were beaten 4-0.

He will continue to play IPL cricket for his side Rajasthan Royals and his first appearance since announcing his retirement will be for MCC in the Emirates Airline T20 competition in Dubai on 23 March.

'The Wall'

Alongside fellow veterans Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, Dravid (nicknamed as "The Wall") formed the backbone of a famous India batting line-up for almost two decades.

A Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000 and ICC Player of the Year in 2004, Dravid's consistency and near-flawless technique allowed his name to stand out in an era notable for superb batsmanship.

Though his nickname alludes to defensive prowess, Dravid was equally elegant and prosperous in attack, adding 10,899 runs to his international total in 344 ODIs, including 461 in the 1999 World Cup, where he was the top run scorer.

Beyond the field, Dravid also become recognised as an articulate and influential observer of the game.

He is one of only two players still playing professionally to sit on MCC's WCC, an independent think-tank which meets twice a year to discuss prevalent issues in the game.

In 2011 he made a century for MCC in their Champion County victory over Nottinghamshire, a match played with a pink ball, in day-night conditions, as part of the WCC's work into exploring the possibility of playing day-night Test cricket.

Later in 2011 he again voiced his support for the pink ball format when he became the first non-Australian to deliver the prestigious Bradman Address.

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