The Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins has shown empathy towards the Indian citizens, who find themselves in a gloomy situation due to the second wave of Covid-19, by donating $50,000 (which roughly translates to INR 37,41,995) to PM CARES fund.
It makes Cummins the first cricketer participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to come out in support of the host nation, which finds itself in dire need of oxygen, amid the stranglehold of Covid-19.
"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 shared a statement on Twitter. "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 made a contribution to the 'PM Cares Fund,' specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India's hospitals."
His statement also had a remarkable point, where he asked his fellow IPL players and anyone around the world, to come out in support of India.
"I encourage my fellow IPL players - and anyone around else the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity - to contribute. I will kick it off with $50,000," Cummins urged. "At times like this it is easy to feel helpless. I've certainly felt that of late. But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people's lives. I know my donation isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but I hope it will make a difference to someone," he added.
Instantly, the Sydney-born cricketer, became a hero in India for his heartfelt gesture and leading the way among the cricket stars. It, however, remains to be seen if the Indian cricketers follow in his footsteps and do the needful for their country -- where the situation is going from bad to worse -- and death toll due to Covid-19 has surpassed 3.2 million mark.
It has, however, been a trend among the Indian cricketers that not many take interest in speaking up against an issue as a 'role model'. But this situation, demands far much more than that, as a bit of humanity and empathy from the national heroes can go a long way to boost the morale of the country. After all, it is the fans, who make for the 12th man in a team. And the cricketers need to understand their due responsibility and stand up to the crisis situation.
Cummins' donation has also brought in a different perspective to approach the situation among IPL cricketers after -- RCB's Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, RR's Andrew Tye and DC's Ravichandran Ashwin -- opted out of the lucrative tournament due to various reasons.
The RCB management clarified that Richardson and Zampa had pulled out citing 'personal reasons' while Tye left to avoid the risk of not being able to return home due to the Covid-19 situation. Ashwin, meanwhile, left the national franchise camp to support his family in the fight against the dreaded virus.
But as most cricketers kept their personal problems first, it was Cummins, who took a respectable step towards humanity. Moreover, it is not always the on-field prowess but also the gestures made off the field which defines the character of a person, and Cummins will also be remembered as a 'great human being' for his significant step.