It wasn’t a fan or a journalist, it wasn’t even an ex-cricketer or a commentator, rather it was an ad-company which gave India’s supreme cricketer Rahul Dravid the nickname of “The Wall.”
In 1997, the ad agency Leo Burnett was working for Reebok’s campaign. To make the campaign catchy, the team of Nitin Barry and Nima Namchu for Leo Burnett came up with nicknames for the top cricket ambassadors of the brand. And there it happened! A total of three cricketers were given names. Spinner Anil Kumble became The Viper, Mohammed Azharuddin would be called The Assassin and yes you guessed it, Rahul Dravid, The Wall. While Anil Kumble and Azharuddin’s name are not remembered by much, The Wall stood the test of time. Other names such as Mr Dependable and The Great Wall also emerged for the batting maestro.
It wasn’t luck. Dravid’s batting ability, his consistency, cool and calm composure helped strengthen that image. The Indore born Bangalorean went on to pile almost 25000 international runs in a career that spanned over 16 years. He is the fourth highest run scorer in Tests and is the only player with centuries in all the ten Test-playing nations(except Afghanistan, Ireland). The legend has also been honoured with prestigious awards like the Padma Bhushan. In 2018, The Wall became the fifth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.