India’s richest sports body Board of Control for Cricket in India today (Saturday) pledged a donation of ₹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 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.
The cricket community along with other sportspersons have come up with their donations.
Among cricketers, Suresh Raina’s ₹52 lakh is the biggest individual contribution so far. Sachin Tendulkar has announced a contribution of ₹50 lakh.