Hamilton:Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Friday dedicated his 42nd Test hundred, which put India in command against New Zealand, to the cause of tiger conservation.
"I would very much like to like to dedicate this hundred to tiger conservation because that is what right from the start of this tour the whole team had decided. I have given couple of messages as well in this regard. So I would dedicate this one to tiger conservation," said Tendulkar, who smashed a sublime 160 at the Seddon Park.
On the eve of the first Test, Tendulkar had supported the cause, expressing his concerns at the dwindling numbers of tigers in India.
"At the start of the century, there were nearly 40,000 tigers in India. Today, that number has shrunk to 1,700 and we are losing at least one tiger a month. The rate at which the tiger is being hunted down is alarming," Tendulkar had said.
Concerned about the steep fall in tiger numbers, Tendulkar said, "When I was growing up, I was told there was an animal called a dinosaur. Tomorrow, we would probably be talking about the tiger in a similar way to our future generations. Something needs to be done soon to stop the tiger from vanishing from our forests."
Tendulkar, who holds the record for the most number of centuries scored by a batsman in Tests (42) and One-Day Internationals (43), said, "Though I am no expert in this field, I feel the tiger should be allowed to live without disturbance in the forests. As we have our own homes and territories, the tiger has its territory. We should not disturb its habitat. That would be the best way to ensure that this magnificent survives in our forests."
Interestingly, the entire Indian team has come out in support of the tiger, which is being driven to extinction. A banner "Extinction is Forever" has been displayed at their team marquee.