Ross Taylor: 'There are almost 4000 tigers in the wild, but there's only one Rahul Dravid'
The incident is from the time of IPL 2011 when Taylor and Dravid played alongside each other for Rajasthan Royals.
Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor shared an interesting anecdote related to India great Rahul Dravid. Taylor recalled his time in India during the IPL 2011 where he was playing alongside Dravid for the Rajasthan Royals (RR).
In his autobiography titled 'Ross Taylor: Black And White', Taylor reminisced of a jungle expedition that he went on with the ex India captain at the famous Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan.
During their journey, Taylor was shocked to know that while Rahul Dravid had been on many previous expeditions, he was yet to see the tiger live. The Kiwi stalwart was also left amused to see the normal public take more interest in Dravid than spotting the tiger.
Taylor detailed the narrative in his book and understood how difficult it is for prominent Indian personalities like Dravid to venture out and enjoy time away from the game.
"What? 21 safaris for zero sightings"
Taylor couldn't help but wear a look of disbelief on his face when Rahul Dravid told him he has been on 21 expeditions before but never seen one 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 a single one.' I thought, 'What? 21 safaris for zero sightings.'," the player recounted the incident in his book, the excerpts of which have been published by Stuff.co.nz.
"Seriously, if I'd known that, I wouldn't have gone. I would've said, "No thanks, I'll watch the Discovery channel."
As it happened, Dravid was 22nd time lucky. "It wasn't long before our driver got a radio call from a colleague to say they'd found T-17, a famous, tagged tiger. Dravid was thrilled: 21 safaris without seeing as much as a tiger turd, but half an hour into number 22 he'd hit pay dirt."
But while the tiger was there in all its glory, the viewing public was more interested in catching the glimpse of Dravid, with their cameras glued to the batting legend. Unintentionally, Dravid stole the limelight from the tiger he was desperate to see, stated Taylor.
"We pulled up beside the other vehicles, open-top SUVs a bit bigger than Land Rovers. The tiger was on a rock, a good 100 metres away. We were stoked to see a tiger in the wild, but the people in the other vehicles immediately aimed their cameras at Rahul."
"They were as excited to see him as we were to see the tiger. Maybe more: across the globe there are almost 4000 tigers in the wild, but there's only one Rahul Dravid," Taylor wrote in his autobiography.