The Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins pledged a handsome sum to aid India's fight against COVID-19. He donated US$ 50,000 "specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals" to PM Cares, a fund-raising scheme set up by the prime minister of India in March last year.
Cummins is the first cricketer playing in IPL 2021 to publicly announce such a contribution through Twitter, also calling on his fellow IPL players to contribute.
"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," Cummins tweeted. "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.
"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 contributed to the 'PM Cares Fund,' specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals."
Eoin Morgan welcomed his teammate's generosity after KKR beat Punjab Kings on Monday night. "We are constantly talking about the situation that's unfolding outside of our bubble. It's not nice, to be honest watching from afar, considering how lucky we are to be in a bubble and not be affected by it very much. We obviously lend our support and heartfelt attitude to everybody who is ill or is going through tough times."
India is reporting about 3,00,000 new cases every day over the last week and is battling a vicious wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country's fragile healthcare system is struggling to cope, and appeals for beds, drugs, vaccines, and oxygen have dominated Indian social media spaces since the start of April.