The second wave of COVID-19 has put the ongoing Indian T20 League in a state of alarm, with many cricketers like Ravichandran Ashwin withdrawing from the tournament.
With homegrown and overseas players currently taking a ‘wait and watch’ approach for the 2021 edition, a few cricketers - former and current - have stepped forward to provide aid to minimize the crisis in the country.
Here’s the full list of those players who are donning the superhero cape for India’s battle against the rising COVID-19 cases.
May 4: Jason Behrendorff makes donation to UNICEF project
On Tuesday, May 4, Chennai bowler Jason Behrendorff said that he will make a donation to the UNICEF project to help India's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking to his social media account, he said,
"Like most cricketers, India has been a special place to me. It's a beautiful country, the people are welcoming and playing cricket in India is like no other experience in the world. It is never lost on me how privileged I am to be able to play cricket for a living and to travel to such countries like India, no more so than in the past 16 months.
"It's really horrific and distressing seeing what is happening at the moment here and knowing there isn't much I can do. My thoughts are never far from those here in India who are being affected by the virus. I can't imagine what you are going through.
"I wanted to do something to help and am making a donation to the UNICEF project for the India Covid-19 crisis. I encourage anyone who has also experienced the generous hospitality of India to do the same," he added.
He concluded by saying, "I know it's only a small amount, it could never match the love and friendship India has shown myself and my family over the years but I hope it can make the slightest difference."
May 3: Cricket Australia donates $50,000 to help India fight the pandemic
On Monday, May 3, Cricket Australia donated $50,000 (Australian) to help India fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also working on raising more funds in partnership with its players’ association and UNICEF.
“Australian cricket will throw its support behind India’s Covid-19 Crisis Appeal, with Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers; Association and UNICEF Australia partnering to raise much needed funds,” CA said in a statement.
Australian Cricket will throw its support behind the India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal by partnering with the @ACA_Players and @unicefaustralia to raise much needed funds.— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) May 2, 2021
Donate to UNICEF Australia’s India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal: https://t.co/JWpslbtY2j pic.twitter.com/E0CMow6h8z
“Australian cricket has been deeply saddened by the devastation caused by this second coronavirus wave to hit India, a country with which Australians share a strong friendship and connection.
“Cricket Australia will make an initial donation of AUD 50,000 and encourage Australians everywhere to give generously at this crucial time in India’s COVID-19 response,” it added.
May 2: Bangalore franchise to make financial contribution for oxygen support, to wear 'special jersey' to raise funds
The Virat Kohli-led Team Bangalore on Sunday pledged financial assistance for infrastructure "related to oxygen support" in India's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The franchise will also raise funds by auctioning special blue jerseys to be worn by players in an upcoming match.
This season RCB is going to be sporting a special Blue jersey in 1 of the upcoming matches with key messaging on the match kit to pay our respect & show solidarity to all the front line heroes who have spent last year wearing PPE kits & leading the fight against the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/HUOAL12VVy— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 2, 2021
May 1: Pandya brothers to donate 200 oxygen concentrators to aid India's COVID-19 fight
Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya have pledged to donate 200 oxygen concentrators to the rural parts of India.
"We all understand the difficulty that our country is undergoing at this period of time. Gratitude to all the medical staff, frontline workers and all the individuals who have come out and held their hands at such times to fight out the battle," Hardik said in a pre-match interview on Saturday.
April 30: Shikhar Dhawan to donate ₹20 lakhs towards 'Mission Oxygen'
Shikhar Dhawan has announced his decision to donate ₹20 lakhs, plus money that he will receive from all post-match individual performance awards in the Indian T20 League 2021 to help fund the requirement of oxygen due to the COVID crisis in India. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi batsman also thanked the frontline workers for their "tireless" service.
April 30: Jaydev Unadkat to donate 10% of his Indian T20 League salary
Rajasthan pacer Jaydev Unadkat has decided to donate 10% of his Indian T20 League salary towards providing essential medical resources for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 29-year-old took to Twitter and added that his family will make sure the aid reaches the right places.
I am contributing 10% of my IPL salary towards providing essential medical resources for those in need. My family will make sure it reaches the right places. Jai Hind! pic.twitter.com/XvAOayUEcd— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) April 30, 2021
April 30: Punjab franchise to help provide oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients
The Punjab franchise also took to Twitter to announce that they have pledged funds towards providing oxygen concentrators across the country. "To help the fight against #COVID19 in India, #PBKS has pledged to provide oxygen concentrators with the help of @roundtableindia! We also request everyone to join in and help in whatever way possible because together, we can! #SaddaPunjab #Unite2FightCorona".
To help the fight against #COVID19 in India, #PBKS has pledged to provide oxygen concentrators with the help of @roundtableindia! We also request everyone to join in and help in whatever way possible because together, we can! #SaddaPunjab #Unite2FightCorona pic.twitter.com/sZs5B1NDij— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 30, 2021
April 30: Nicholas Pooran to donate portion of Indian T20 League salary
Punjab batsman Nicholas Pooran has decided to donate a portion of his Indian T20 League salary to help people in India fight the pandemic.
Taking to Twitter, Pooran wrote: "Although many other countries are still being affected by the pandemic, the situation in India right now is particularly severe. I will do my part to bring awareness and financial assistance to this dire situation. #PrayForIndia".
Although many other countries are still being affected by the pandemic, the situation in India right now is particularly severe. I will do my part to bring awareness and financial assistance to this dire situation.#PrayForIndia pic.twitter.com/xAnXrwMVTu— nicholas pooran #29 (@nicholas_47) April 30, 2021
April 29: Delhi and team sponsors pledge to ₹1.5 crores NCR-based NGOs
A day after starting a 'Project Plasma' initiative, team Delhi announced that the franchise and its patrons JSW Foundation & GMR Varalakshmi Foundation are offering financial support amounting to INR 1.5 crore to NCR-based NGOs the Hemkunt Foundation and the Uday Foundation. The donation will be used to procure essential medical supplies, ranging from oxygen cylinders and concentrators to COVID Wellness Kits.
🚨ANNOUNCEMENT🚨— Delhi Capitals (Stay Home. Wear Double Masks😷) (@DelhiCapitals) April 29, 2021
Delhi Capitals and its patrons, the @JSWFoundation & GMR Varalakshmi Foundation are offering financial support amounting to INR 1.5 Cr to NCR based NGOs, the @Hemkunt_Fdn and the @UdayFoundation. #DilDikhaDilli #YehHaiNayiDilli @DelhiAirport pic.twitter.com/5brZ3o2NnP
April 29: Sachin Tendulkar donates ₹1 crore to 'Mission Oxygen'
Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has donated ₹1 crore donated to procure oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients in the country.
The cricket icon has partnered with Mission Oxygen, a fund-raising initiative by Delhi-NCR-based entrepreneurs for importing Oxygen Concentrator machines and donating them to hospitals in need. The 48-year-old Tendulkar, who tested positive for the dreaded infection last month, took to Twitter to praise the initiative.
April 29: Rajasthan franchise donates ₹7.5 crores to help India fight COVID-19
Team Rajasthan has announced a contribution of ₹7.5 crores (over $1mn) to help with immediate support to people impacted by the surge of COVID-19 cases in India.
"Players along with the team owners and team management have come forward to raise funds and have been working along with the Rajasthan Royals' philanthropic arm Royal Rajasthan Foundation (RRF) in partnership with the British Asian Trust (BAT)," Rajasthan said in a press release.
Rajasthan Royals announce a contribution of over $1 milion from their owners, players and management to help with immediate support to those impacted by COVID-19. This will be implemented through @RoyalRajasthanF and @britishasiantst.— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 29, 2021
Complete details 👇#RoyalsFamily
April 28: Team Delhi start "Project Plasma" initiative
Team Delhi has launched the initiative "Project Plasma" along with Fever FM, where the COVID-19 survivors are encouraged to donate plasma. With Delhi being one of the worst-hit cities in the country, the Indian T20 League side is working towards connecting survivors with patients who need the plasma at various hospitals.
Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan said in a video, “So many people are running around in blood banks and hospitals to save their loved ones. If you are a covid survivor, you have a superpower to save a life. Please do not let it go waste."
Among other players with video messages were Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma.
Important: Through #ProjectPlasma, we aim to urge COVID-19 survivors to donate Plasma to help those battling from the virus. Share this message with anyone who you know has survived COVID-19 to help spread the word.— Delhi Capitals (Stay Home. Wear Double Masks😷) (@DelhiCapitals) April 27, 2021
#YehHaiNayiDilli #IPL2021 @ImIshant @FeverFMOfficial pic.twitter.com/WDHVryX4Gc
April 27: Brett Lee donates 1 BTC to Crypto Relief
Former Australia cricketer and SportsAdda ambassador Brett Lee donates 1 BTC (bitcoin) to Crypto Relief for the purchase of oxygen supplies in hospitals across India.
Lee, in a post on Twitter, thanked Pat Cummins for leading the initiative yesterday and stressed the need for people to maintain social distancing.
April 26: Jadeja, sister Raina provide rations to the needy in Rajkot
Indian cricket team star Ravindra Jadeja and his sister Raina are providing basic ration items to the needy in their hometown city of Rajkot.
Speaking to ABP Live, Raina said, “We made arrangements to deliver rations to the homes of many needy people in Rajkot during the lockdown. Jaddu (Jadeja’s nickname) could not go by himself. Crowds gather everywhere to see him. So he can’t go everywhere. We and our team have delivered food items from house to house.”
April 26: Cummins donates $50,000
Kolkata pacer Pat Cummins has donated $50,000 towards more oxygen supplies in hospitals.
The Australian international, through his efforts, hopes other Indian T20 League players can make valuable contributions to the cause.
April 25: Shoaib Akhtar pleads for help
Legendary Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar posted a video on his Youtube channel, requesting his country's audience to provide support to India.
April 23: Harbhajan plans mobile COVID-testing lab in Pune
Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh announced his plan to set up a mobile COVID-19 testing laboratory in Pune to accelerate the efforts of the government and private entities.
Set to be operational from Saturday, April 24, the facility has a capacity of 1,500 samples per day and will provide the result within four hours. While the service will be free for those below the poverty line, others will be charged Rs 500 per test.
December 11, 2020: Hashim Amla leads #BringWater campaign
Former South African opener Hashim Amla joined hands with compatriot Morne Morkel and England’s Rory Burns to support WaterAid’s #BringWater campaign for India.
Also pledging support to this campaign are Keaton Jennings and England Women’s Alex Hartley.
June 17, 2020: Waugh's manager raises money for India's physically challenged cricketers
Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh's manager Harley Medcalf raised Rs 1.5 lakh to help India's physically challenged cricketers, who are in financial distress due to lockdown in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India (PCCAI) secretary Ravi Chauhan has heaped praises on Medcalf, stating that, “Every help is God-send for these players and they will always be thankful for this.”
Featured photo: IPL / BCCI