CA urges donations to fight India's COVID-19 crisis
Cricket Australia donates $50,000 to UNICEF's India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal and called on Australians to make a contribution
3 May 2021, 11:15 AM AEST
Cricket Australia has matched Pat Cummins and Brett Lee’s respective donations to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis India as the governing body announced Monday it had partnered with UNICEF.
Along with the Australian Cricketers' Association, CA is encouraging Australians to donate to UNICEF's COVID-19 Crisis Appeal as India's health system struggles with the highest daily case load of any country since the start of the global pandemic.
Donations will be spent on providing oxygen to seriously ill patients, providing testing equipment in affected regions as well as supporting the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines.
CA has made an initial donation of A$50,000, matching similar contributions from Cummins and Lee last week, amid a call for Australians to also give generously.
Cummins and Lee are among a nearly 40-strong Australian contingent currently in India for the ongoing Indian Premier League, which is being played in a bio-secure bubble.
“Australians and Indians share a special bond and, for many, our mutual love of cricket is central to that friendship,” CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said.
“We were all deeply moved by the sentiments expressed and donations given by Pat Cummins and Brett Lee over the past week.
"In that same spirit, we are proud to partner with UNICEF Australia to raise funds that will help the people of India by providing the health system with much needed oxygen, testing equipment and vaccines.”
It comes as the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore revealed they would be wearing blue jerseys, designed to resemble personal protective equipment, in one of their upcoming IPL games as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers.
The shirts will sport COVID-19 safety messages encouraging people to wear masks, with the signed jerseys to later be auctioned off to raise money for oxygen support.
Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, who was last month hospitalised by the virus, donated 10 million rupees (approximately A$173,000) to a fundraising campaign last week, while batsman Shikhar Dhawan pledged 20 lakh (A$35,000) as well as well as any future individual prizemoney.
"We are in unprecedented times right now, and it is the need of the hour that we do everything possible to help each other out," Dhawan said in a tweet.
India's death toll from the virus has surpassed 200,000, while it continues to set grim new records for new daily case numbers. On Saturday, that figure was more than 400,000.
Sick patients are being turned away from hospitals and there is a shortage of oxygen cylinders in a devastating second wave that has seen Australia pause all flights from the country until May 15 at the earliest.