Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Cricket bodies and cricketers round the world have come forward to donate money for the COVID-19 relief efforts. In India, Sachin Tendulkar has donated Dh18 million, Sourav Ganguly, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, announced that the Cricket Association of Bengal, which he represents, will donate around Dh9 million to the West Bengal state administration to support the fight against Coronavirus.

Tendulkar mentioned that half of his donation will be given to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund given that his state (Maharashtra) has become the epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic in India.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has also come forward to donate a sum of Dh480,000 to their government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a press statement, it said: “Sri Lanka Cricket, whilst understanding the gravity of the ongoing health problem, has also taken several other steps to provide its fullest assistance to the Government in order to combat the crisis.”

They are donating laryngoscopes, which are essential to treat coronavirus patients. This equipment has been ordered from overseas and will be handed over by Sri Lanka cricketers as soon as the purchases arrive in Sri Lanka.

Pakistan cricketers and officials have come forward to donate over Pakistan Rs five million to the Imran Khan led government’s emergency fund to fight Coronavirus. Pakistan Cricket Board office staff will donate one day’s salary, while general managers and above will donate two days’ salary to the fund.

In Bangladesh, 27 top cricketers, including Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, have pledged to donate half of their monthly salaries to help fight the COVID-19 disaster. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has announced that a total of 2.5 million Bangladesh Takas will be pooled in from their players’ salaries.

The Wankhede IPL stadium in Mumbai

Stadiums as treatment centres

Meanwhile, in India, discussions are on to cancel the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to be held from April 15. According to a source, discussions have been held to transform some of the IPL venues as treatment centres should the number of Coronavirus patients increase.

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has donated disinfectant soap, material and food to the needy in his country.

Former Indian cricketers Irfan Pathan and his brother Yusuf Pathan have donated 4,000 masks to the needy in their city Vadodara. The Pathan brothers then tweeted: “Doing our bit for the society. Whatever u guys can do please go ahead and help each other as far as sanitation is concerned. But don’t gather crowd.!@iamyusufpathan #corona it’s a small start hopefully we will be keep helping more. Everyone of us.”

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, who is now an elected people’s representative, has offered to release funds from his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund for equipments to treat coronavirus patients in Delhi government hospitals.