Dubai: At a time when funds are critical to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, cricketers are auctioning their prized possessions to generate money and donate it to combat COVID-19 efforts.
For former Pakistan skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed, the bat he used during his team’s historic win in the 2017 Champions Trophy, is one of his valuable possessions. He has donated it to the Karachi Sports Forum (KSF) in its campaign to distribute ration bags and medicines among the financially unstable athletes and ground staff. Joining him is Pakistan’s legendary squash player Jahangir Khan with that racket that he used in British Open final, and Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui with the hockey stick he played in the 1978 World Cup final at Argentina.
In cricket-crazy India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, many charity foundations are planning to collect signed items from legendary cricketers and put them up for auction to raise the much-required funds these days.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is auctioning the shirt that he wore in the 2019 ICC World Cup final, and it has already fetched 65,000 pounds. This money will be donated to the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity.
Incidentally, over 100 athletes have donated memorabilia to the “Athletes For COVID-19 Relief” fund, which benefits the Centre for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
Meanwhile, the historic Edgbaston Cricket Stadium car park has been opened as a drive-through COVID-19 testing. India’s Hyderabad Cricket Association has offered rooms at the Uppal stadium if needed by the government. Many cricket stadiums in India are ready to offer help to treat patients following the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s appeal to state associations to do what they can during this crisis.
Assam Cricket Association has offered to convert its Barsapara Stadium premises into a quarantine centre. Even the famous Eden Gardens ground in Kolkata has offered its indoor facility and the players dormitory to the West Bengal government to create a temporary medical facility.