India's richest sports body Board of Control for Cricket in India on 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 in an interview 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.
Former India batsman Suresh Raina on Saturday donated ₹ 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 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 on Friday donated ₹ 50 lakh to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed 21 Indian lives and more than 28,000 deaths globally.
Kiren Rijiju donates ₹ 1 crore from MPLAD fund
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju donated ₹ one crore from his MPLAD Fund to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm depositing the amount now ... Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji has given a call that in view of this epidemic, all the BJP MPs from their MP Fund ₹ 1,00,00,000 (one crore) will be funded by the Prime Minister in the National Relief Fund," Rijiju tweeted.