Cummins said he was donating the amount to specifically help with the oxygen crisis confronting some states in India, besides the national capital, New Delhi.
Australian cricketer Pat Cummins, who plays for Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, announced on Monday that he was donating $50,000 to India’s PM Cares Fund as he was saddened by the medical crisis unfolding in India. Cummins said he was donating the amount to specifically help with the oxygen crisis confronting some states in India, besides the national capital, New Delhi.
Cummins became the first foreign cricketer to donate to the PM Cares Fund—set up by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2020—a public charitable trust that deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” wrote Cummins in a message posted on his Twitter account.
“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. I encourage my fellow IPL players — and anyone around else the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity — to contribute. I will kick it off with $50,000,” he added.
In his statement, Cummins also alluded to the ongoing debate in the country whether the IPL should be happening at all in the country given the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
“There has been quite a bit of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while COVID-19 infection rates remain high. I'm 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.
“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. 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.
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) April 26, 2021
It must be noted that India’s top cricketers like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni had also donated to the PM Cares Fund when it was started last year.
Cummins’ decision comes at a time when some of his Australian compatriots — Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) — have announced their withdrawal from the competition. While Zampa and Richardson said they were pulling out due to personal reasons, Tye said he feared getting locked out of Australia due to mounting quarantine cases from India in Perth, his hometown.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, meanwhile, said that the IPL would continue.
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