On Friday, Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma sported a different type of shoes which had imprinted ‘Save The Rhino’ on it during the IPL 2021 opening game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.
While most fans didn’t notice it during the game, Rohit Sharma himself revealed this act on social media. He expressed his profound feeling towards the endangered rhino species.
For long the India opener, and his wife, Ritika Sajdeh, had spoken and been part of organizations involved in the conservation of the Great One-Horned Rhinoceros or the Indian Rhino. This IPL season the Mumbai Indians captain is even more vocal as suggested by his recent initiative.
It was special for me; Every step matters: Rohit Sharma
The 33-year-old right-handed opener launched the “Rohit4Rhinos” campaign in September 2019, in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet.
Of the approximately 3500 Indian rhinos left in the world, 82% are found in India. Earlier, these species were found in abundance across the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra river basins, however, now it is found only in few regions of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. The Indian rhinoceros, which is the state animal of Assam, is facing extinction due to excessive poaching, and habitat loss.
“Yesterday when I walked on to the field it was more than just a game for me. Playing cricket is my dream and helping make this world a better place is a cause we all need to work towards,” tweeted Rohit Sharma.
“It was special for me to take a cause so close to my heart with me on the field while I do what I love. Every step matters,” he added.
Former England captain, Kevin Pietersen, who is also a big advocate of protecting rhinos, lauded Rohit Sharma for his gesture.
“The great man’s boots last night in the IPL opener. Rohit Sharma continually playing for a cause – SAVING RHINOS!” Pietersen tweeted.
Speaking of the game, Virat Kohli’s side came out better, but only on the last ball of the game, as AB de Villiers orchestrated yet another chase for RCB. Pacer Harshal Patel was Man of the Match for his 5-for which prevented the quintessential Mumbai finish by picking wickets of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Krunal Pandya amongst his 5 scalps. The defending champions take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.
It was special for me to take a cause so close to my heart with me on the field while I do what I love. Every step matters. 🦏❤️ (2/2)
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) April 10, 2021
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) April 10, 2021