Dubai: Cricketers are hailed as heroes for their on-field exploits but following the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them are turning heroes off the field for their efforts to combat the spread of the virus.
Leading the way is England’s women cricket team captain Heather Knight, who signed up for the NHS (National Health Service) Volunteer scheme that has been launched to help fight this deadly pandemic.
As soon as the UK government launched an appeal for 250,000 volunteers to help with duties such as delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to and from doctors’ appointments or hospitals and making phone calls to check on people, Knight signed up as a volunteer. She said her brother, who is a doctor by profession and she have taken their car to transport medicine to people who are in self-isolation.
Not many Indian cricket fans may remember Joginder Sharma, who bowled the final over to ensure India’s win in the ICC World T20 Cup final in 2007; but for the people of his state Haryana, he is a hero for his activities off the field. After his cricketing career, Singh joined the police force and works as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Haryana. Today, he is on the streets helping people during this crisis. According to him, his duty starts at 6 am and it involves spreading awareness on the importance of staying at home to those who venture out for fun and also carying medicines to the needy.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, a Member of Parliament, is busy supervising the distribution of food through his foundation ‘Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF)’. “Feeding the needy is our responsibility. No one should go hungry during this time and together we will fight and win,” he said.
Former Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi leaves home early every day to donate food, disinfectant soaps, masks and other provision to the needy in Pakistan under his Shahid Afridi Foundation. He remarked: “People are unable to come out of their homes and many are unemployed; so our priority is to feed them and also take care of their health.” He also added: “People should come out and help because if everyone decides to stay home, who will help the needy?”
Former Indian allrounder Yuvraj Singh is also ensuring that everything is done to combat Covid-19 through this foundation “YouWeCan’. He has partnered with Lifebuoy to distribute hygiene products to the poor.
Meanwhile, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, known for his ability to sing, has launched his new song through his official instagram on the Covid-19 pandemic. He captioned the instragram post: “We Not Giving Up On this Outbreak due to Pandemic, My Heartful Prayers to all of you out there! Lets fight together.”
New Zealand cricketer Ish Sodhi has also penned a song with the following lines: “Coronavirus, please don’t get me today. Coronavirus, I still got cricket to play. I know what Covid-19 is, I am sick of hearing your name on my TV screen.”