‘There are almost 4000 tigers in the wild, but there is only one Rahul Dravid’: Ross Taylor

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a tournament where foreign players can mingle with the Indian players, and the competition is a major reason why players around the world get along well. IPL 2011 saw former New Zealander Ross Taylor share the dressing room with the likes of Rahul Dravid and Shane Warne. That particular edition of the tournament made Taylor understand how much fandom Indian cricketers enjoy and how difficult it is for them to venture out in public.

In his autobiography “Black And White,” Taylor recounted an incident where he and Dravid went to Ranthambore National Park to spot a tiger, and how the normal public was more interested in Dravid than spotting a rare tiger.

“I asked Dravid, ‘how many times have you seen a tiger?’ He said, “I’ve never seen a tiger. I’ve been on 21 of these expeditions and haven’t seen any.” I thought, ‘What? 21 safaris for zero sightings.’ Seriously, if I’d known I wouldn’t have gone, I would’ve said, “No thanks, I’m watching the Discovery Channel. Jake Oram had been out in the morning – no joy. There was a baseball game on TV that he wanted to see, so he didn’t join us on the afternoon safari. It wasn’t long before our driver got a radio call from a colleague to say they’d found T-17, a famously tagged tiger. Dravid was delighted: 21 safaris without seeing a tiger turd, but half an hour after number 22 he had reached pay dirt,” Taylor wrote, as reported by stuff.co.nz.

“We pulled up next to the other vehicles, open-top SUVs slightly larger than Land Rovers. The tiger was perched on a rock about 100 yards away. We were excited to see a tiger in the wild, but the people in the other vehicles immediately turned their cameras on Rahul They were just as excited to see him as we were to see the tiger Maybe more: There are nearly 4000 tigers in the wild around the world but there is only one Rahul Dravid,” he went on to write.

Taylor had retired from international cricket earlier this year and released his autobiography on Thursday. In the book, Taylor opened up about instances of racism he faced during his playing career. He spoke of how it would show up in banter in the locker room and in comments from some staff members and officials. Taylor, who is part Samoan, said he had been “an anomaly” for much of his career.

“New Zealand cricket is a pretty white sport. For much of my career I’ve been an anomaly, brown face in a vanilla lineup. That has its challenges, many of which aren’t immediately apparent to your teammates or the cricket crowd Taylor wrote.

“In many ways, locker room chatter is the barometer. A team-mate used to say to me, ‘You’re half a good guy, Ross, but which half is good? You don’t know what I’m talking about’. I was pretty sure. of that I did. Other players also had to accept comments about their ethnicity. In all likelihood, a Pakeha who listens to those kinds of comments would think: ‘Oh, that’s okay, it’s just a little chatter’ But he hears It’s like a white person, and it’s not targeting people like him. So there’s no pushback; no one is correcting them,” he continued.

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