The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dravid not taking guard in Ireland
- Visit during ICC Trophy isn't confirmed either

Calcutta: A leading cellular service provider's 'Call Rahul' campaign during the India versus Pakistan face-offs probably proved a mega hit. Yet, it caused confusion too.

Would the contest winners simply meet Rahul Dravid, currently the highest-ranked Indian batsman (No. 3 in the ICC's pecking order), or also fly with him to Ireland'

Actually, the smart promo line could have been interpreted either way.

The question whether Dravid would don the flannels in Ireland, on a short-term basis, began doing the rounds as well.

On Thursday afternoon, Dravid clarified that while he will be interacting with the contest winners, his going to Ireland was ' at any point in time ' far from certain.

The cellular service provider (one of the four global partners of the ICC) is organising a trip for the contest winners during the July 1-13 ICC Trophy, the tournament to determine five qualifiers for the 2007 World Cup.

The Team India vice-captain ' actually, he ended up being captain more than once in the just-ended 2004-05 season ' also told The Telegraph he wouldn't be taking guard in Ireland during the off-season.

'I'll be playing the two tsunami matches in London (at Lord's and The Oval), in the middle of June, but otherwise it's a complete break for me,' Dravid informed, when contacted on his cell.

This lay-off comes after being on the move for nine months: Dravid played all 11 Tests (841 runs, 3x100, 56-plus average) and 22 of the 23 ODIs (808 runs, 2x100, 42-plus average) featuring India.

Despite failing to match the exceptional standards set for himself, in the home series against Australia, Dravid still had another terrific season.

Incidentally, whether he himself flies to Ireland (possibly with wife Vijeeta) is only going to be confirmed at a later date.

For now, Dravid said: 'Much depends on the itinerary of the tri-series in Sri Lanka, which launches the 2005-06 season' At this moment, I can't say anything more'

Given Sourav Ganguly's suspension, that Emerald Isle tournament will mean a lot more for Dravid than it otherwise would have.

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