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Cricket world helps India as the country faces a serious COVID crisis

Although cricket is not the national game of India, it is considered to be the most popular sport in the country. There is a general perception among Indians and others that cricket is considered as a religion in India. For this reason, Indians love cricket and cricketers more than fans in any other nations, and the same is true for players, who receive a lot of support and love from Indian fans.

Cricketers who have been aiding COVID-19 pandemic-hit India over the last few days prove the above lines to be true. As India suffers from coronavirus due to a lack of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and hospital beds, the cricket world has stepped forward to assist the nation. Current Indian and foreign players, as well as retired players, have contributed to the India’s relief fund, setting a good example for others to follow.

A few days ago, Australian cricketer Pat Cummins announced a $50,000 donation to the PM CARES Fund for oxygen supplies in Indian hospitals. The current world’s best test cricket bowler is presently in India, playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League.

There is a lot of debate both within and outside the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) about whether the IPL should proceed in the face of increasing COVID-19 infection rates in India. However, Pat Cummins said the IPL is a happy few hours during difficult times.

Following Cummin’s donation, former Australian pacer Brett Lee announced a donation of one bitcoin (nearly 40 lakh Indian rupees) to help buy oxygen supplies for hospitals across India. “India has always been like a second home for me. The love and affection that I have got from the people of this country both during my professional career and even after my retirement, holds a special place in my heart,” Lee posted on twitter.

Inspired by Pat Cummins and Brett Lee’s gesture, the Estonian Cricket Association (located in the remote corners of Northern Europe) has donated INR 1 lac in Bitcoin to COVID relief in India.

Sachin Tendulkar, the cricket legend, has made a generous contribution to India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘God of Cricket’ has announced a one-crore donation to ‘Mission Oxygen,’ a group of entrepreneurs’ initiative aimed at procuring life-saving oxygen for COVID-19 patients in hospitals across India.

Earlier on Sunday, Shoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistan pacer, urged the Pakistan government and his fans to help India in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. “It is impossible for any government to tackle the ongoing crisis. I appeal to my government and fans, to help India. India does need a lot of oxygen tanks. I request everyone to donate and raise funds for India and deliver oxygen tanks to them,” Akhtar said.

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals have also announced donations to help those impacted by COVID-19. The Royals have announced a donation of INR 7.5 crore, while the Capitals have announced INR 1.5 crore for COVID-19 relief efforts.

Many other cricketers, including India’s all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and former Indian cricketer Suresh Riana, have expressed their views on the situation. Former Australian wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has asked whether it is appropriate to continue the IPL in view of the current COVID crisis or whether it acts as an important distraction each night.

Many believe that holding the IPL during this tough period is inappropriate, but others feel that it acts as a distraction for people from all of the horrible news. Players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Sampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tie have left their bio-bubbles and returned to their home countries. However, BCCI sources have indicated that the IPL will proceed as planned, and no attempts to cut the tournament have been made as of yet.

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