There is something about the 'City of Joy' that makes cricketers extremely charitable. And we aren’t even talking about Ben Stokes’s bowling in the final over of the World T20 clash on Sunday.
Many years ago, Steve Waugh, during a tour of India, was inspired enough by the work done by Mother Teresa in Kolkata and started his Udayan Foundation, a home for rehabilitation of children afflicted by leprosy.
The West Indian team manager Rawl Lewis also took time out from the heady celebrations that followed his team’s stunning triumph on Sunday night to visit the Missionaries of Charity foundation. Lewis made a donation on the team’s behalf, and an accompanying picture which was shared on social media quickly went viral.
“Do some good today #WI manager Rawl Lewis makes the teams’ donation to Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata #WT20”, read the tweet, sent out from the official handle of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
— westindies (@westindies) April 3, 2016
Making a donation towards a charity couldn't have been easy for the team, especially considering the financial constraints they were facing.
A payment dispute with the board meant many players were unsure of their participation in the marquee tournament. Skipper Darren Sammy even made a reference to it in his speech during the prize distribution ceremony.
Sammy had also mentioned the contributions made by manager Lewis, recalling how he travelled from Dubai to Kolkata just to arrange for uniforms for the players as they were looking at the prospect of not having official kits in the weeks leading up to the sport's premier T20 competition.
After the match was sealed with four successive sixes, the entire team launched into their hit 'Champion' dance, fast becoming a trademark celebration number. And it wasn't just the players and the crowds assembled at the Eden Gardens, it was also the entire city of Kolkata that joined in the jubilation.
And the team's act of taking time out to make a charitable donation shows exactly why they are so popular.