Chennai, Apr 10 (IANS): Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma made a strong pitch for the conservation of the 'Great One-Horned Rhinoceros' during the Indian Premier League (IPL) opening match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which the defending champions had lost by two wickets in a last-ball thriller.
The swashbuckling batsman came out to bat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday sporting a unique design on his shoes, which showcased the 'vulnerable' species on them.
The one-horned rhinos were almost driven to extinction by poachers before bouncing back due to conservation efforts and are now on the 'vulnerable' list of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).
Taking to Twitter, Sharma shared pictures of the shoe with the message: "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."
In another tweet, he added, "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."
Sharma, a noted philanthropist, was in 2018 made the WWF-India Rhino Ambassador. After taking a pledge, Sharma had said, "My love for rhinos sparked when I first heard about Sudan, the last male northern white African rhino who passed away this year thus leading to the inevitable extinction of the entire species and that broke my heart.
"I researched the best way for me to help prevent something like this happening and the best way I know how is to create awareness. After getting in touch with WWF I learnt that 82 per cent of the world's rhinos reside in India and I am honoured to be WWF-India's rhino ambassador to spread awareness and do my bit to contribute to the protection and survival of the rhino."