IPL 2021: Cummins donates $50,000 to India's fight against Covid-19
Cummins hoped his donation would make a difference in its own little way in India's fight against the health crisis
Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian pacer Pat Cummins on Monday announced a $50,000 donation towards PM CARES Fund for oxygen supplies in India's Covid-19 ravaged hospitals and backed the IPL to continue, saying he has been "advised" that the Indian government views it "as few hours of joy" in a difficult time.
In a statement on his official Twitter handle, he made the announcement and urged other top players to do the same as the country battles a deadly second wave of the pandemic recording more than 2,000 daily deaths for the past few days.
"As players, we are privileged to have the platform that allows us to reach millions of people that we can use for good. With that in mind, I have made a contribution to the PM CARES Fund, specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals," he stated.
He also said that he is aware of the ongoing discussion on whether the IPL should continue amid the destruction caused by the virus but has been told that the event offers some respite from the gloom.
"There has been a lot of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while Covid-19 infection rates remain high," he said.
"I am advised that Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country," Cummins said in his statement.
'Saddened by people's suffering'
India recorded over 353,000 cases on Monday, the highest across the world since the pandemic began last year.
"To know so many are suffering so much at this time saddens me greatly," he said.
The world's premier fast bowler, who was bought for a whopping Rs 150 million by KKR at the IPL auction, hoped his donation would make a difference in its own little way in India's fight against the unprecedented health crisis.
"At times like these, it is easy to feel helpless. I've certainly felt that of late. But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotion into action that will bring light into people's lives.
"I know my donation isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but I hope it will make a difference to someone," he added.
"I encourage my fellow IPL players -- and anyone else around the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity -- to contribute. I will kick it off with $50,000," Cummins said.
He described India as a country "I have come to love dearly over the years and the people here are some of the warmest and kindest I've ever met."
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals Australian pacer Andrew Tye decided to leave midway from the IPL as he feared getting "locked out" of his own country.
Australian bowlers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson also withdrew from the remainder of the ongoing league citing personal reasons, their franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore said on Monday.
A number of Australia's top cricketers remain in India, including batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, and paceman Cummins.
Australia said last week it would cut flights from India and reduce the number of its citizens able to return from other red-zone countries to contain the risk of more virulent strains of Covid-19 spreading.
The BCCI, on its part, insisted that the event will continue and it wouldn't come in the way of those wanting to leave.
"As of now, IPL is going ahead. Obviously, if anyone wants to leave, that's perfectly fine," a senior Board official said on conditions of anonymity.
Chakabva scored 80 as Zimbabwe made their highest total of a series... READ MORE
City, with three matches to play, are now 10 points clear of United,... READ MORE
Baffert set a record for the most wins by any trainer in the... READ MORE
He moved 14 points clear of his main title rival Verstappen in the... READ MORE
This means that UAE residents will enjoy the Eid holidays till... READ MORE
UAE residents will enjoy a long weekend to mark the occasion. READ MORE
Strict Covid safety protocols will be in place for the prayers. READ MORE
Residents and businessmen are willing to pay exorbitant airfares, but ... READ MORE