Pat Cummins: Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country
Australia pace bowler Pat Cummins, currently in India playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament for Kolkata Knight Riders, today announced his decision to contribute $50,000 to the PM Cares Fund, "specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals".
Cummins' gesture comes at a time when a few Australian players have decided to withdraw from the ongoing edition of the IPL and return home due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Bangalore Royal Challengers announced on Monday that their Australian players, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, are returning home "for personal reasons" and will be unavailable for the remainder of IPL. The IPL franchise said its management respects the decision of the players and offers them complete support. Earlier, another Australian, Rajasthan Royals pacer Andrew Tye, flew from Mumbai to Doha on Sunday en route to Sydney, leaving the T20 extravaganza midway.
As many as 14 Australian players are still in India, including the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins. There are also coaches like Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich and commentators and former players like Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee and Michael Slater.
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) April 26, 2021
Cummins, meanwhile, said in a statement on Twitter that even though "there has been a lot of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while Covid-19 infection rates remain high," he has been advised that Indian government is of the view that "playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides 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 made a contribution to the "PM Cares Fund", specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals," he added.
He also encouraged his fellow IPL players, and "anyone else around the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity", to contribute.