New Delhi: Australian cricketer Pat Cummins Monday announced that he had donated $50,000 to the PM Cares Fund to purchase oxygen supplies for hospitals in India.
In a statement, Cummins, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said, “India is a country I’ve come to love dearly over the years and the people here are some of the warmest and kindest I’ve ever met. To know so many are suffering so much at this time saddens me greatly.”
He added: “As players, we are privileged to have a 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.”
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) April 26, 2021
The 27-year-old cricketer also encouraged his fellow IPL players to contribute to Covid efforts in the country.
In the past few weeks, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has crippled health infrastructure across the country and hospitals have been facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen.
‘Hope this will bring light into people’s lives’
Cummins also addressed the recent criticism levelled against the IPL and BCCI for choosing to continue the tournament despite the health crisis plaguing the country.
The Australian fast-bowler said that he has been “advised” that the Indian government is of the “view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country”.
Cummins further noted that he was hopeful that the donation and public appeal will make a difference in people’s lives.
“At times like this 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 emotions into action that will bring light into people’s lives,” he said.
“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.
The Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell welcomed Cummins’ move, calling it a “great gesture”.
— Barry O’Farrell AO (@AusHCIndia) April 26, 2021
Cummins is the Number 1 Test bowler according to ICC rankings, and has played 34 Test matches and 69 One Day Internationals for Australia.
Several Australian cricketers leave IPL
Meanwhile, several Australian cricketers have decided to withdraw from the IPL and return home because of the Covid situation in India.
The team Royal Challengers Bangalore confirmed Monday that two Australian players — Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson — will be returning back to their country for “personal reasons”.
Rajasthan Royals fast-bowler Andrew Tye also returned home Sunday.
“There were a number of reasons, but the main one was with the situation that has started to happen back home in Perth with a lot of cases in hotel quarantine coming out of India,” he said.
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