India's richest sports body BCCI pledged a donation of Rs 51 crore to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund in country's fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
The country is under 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed nearly 25,000 lives globally. In India 19 people have lost their lives while more than 800 have been infected.
BCCI's affiliated units have also contributed in this donation.
"Sourav Ganguly, President, Mr Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary and Office Bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with the affiliated state associations on Saturday announced to donate INR 51 crores to the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) to contribute towards strengthening the nation's disaster management capacities and encourage research to combat COVID-19 and protect Indian citizens," the BCCI release stated.
The BCCI's biggest flagship tournament Indian Premier League has been postponed till April 15 but in prevailing circumstances, chances are that it may be cancelled.
"The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is first and foremost a public health emergency and the BCCI has a firm resolve that the nation gets all possible help to cope with the testing times," the release further stated.
With Pondicherry and Hyderabad already offering their stadiums for creating isolation wards, the BCCI has assured its support to the state machinery.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in an interview to PTI had said that if West Bengal government wants, they could provide Eden Gardens facility.
"The Board along with its state associations will continue to monitor and work closely with the Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies and are committed to providing support to the state machinery in the face of adversity," the release stated.
Raina donates Rs 52 lakh for fight against COVID-19 pandemic
Former India batsman Suresh Raina donated Rs 52 lakh to the country's fight against COVID-19 pandemic and urged others also to contribute in these times of health crisis.
Raina's contribution is the biggest from any Indian sportspersons across disciplines.
"It's time we all do our bit to help defeat COVID19. I'm pledging 52 lakh for the fight against Corona (31 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund & 21 lakh to the UP CM's Disaster Relief Fund). Please do your bit too. Jai Hind," Raina tweeted.
The 33-year-old left-handed batsman has played for India in 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 Twenty20 Internationals between 2005 and 2018. He is currently with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar donated Rs 50 lakh to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed 21 Indian lives and more than 28,000 deaths globally.
COVID-19: Rahane donates Rs 10 lakh
India's Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has donated Rs 10 lakh to the Maharastra Chief Minister's Relief Fund for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was confirmed to PTI by a source close to Rahane, who joins the list of sportspersons who have contributed towards the fight against the pandemic.
The stylish right-handed batsman stated that his contribution was like a drop of water in the ocean.
"This is just my tiny bit and a drop in the ocean. Will do my best to support in this difficult time. Meanwhile stay home stay safe," tweeted Rahane after Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackrey thanked him for his gesture.
Karnataka State Cricket Association to donate Rs one crore for fight against COVID-19
The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) said it would donate Rs 50 lakh each to the central government and the state government for their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"KSCA through BCCI wish to contribute Rs 50 Lakhs to Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund and Rs 50 Lacs toward CM Karnataka Government State relief fund," said a KSCA spokesperson.
"The donation is towards strengthening the central and state in this disaster management capacities and encourage research to combat COVID-19 and protect the citizens.
"The KSCA will continue to monitor and work closely with Government of Karnataka and other state regulatory bodies and we are committed to provide any other necessary support to the state machinery," the spokesperson added.
The pandemic has killed more than 30,000 worldwide including 25 in India.