Shikhar Dhawan, Sachin Tendulkar and Jaydev Unadkat have become the latest cricketers to contribute towards the fight to deal with the dire Covid-19 situation in India. Unadkat has pledged 10% of his salary from the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, while Dhawan, of the Delhi Capitals, and Tendulkar have contributed towards the Mission Oxygen initiative.
"We are in unprecedented times right now, and it is the need of the hour that we do everything possible to help each other out," Dhawan said in a tweet. "Over the years, I have received incredible love and support from all of you, for which I am eternally grateful. It's now my turn to give back to the people of this country.
I will be making a donation of Rs 20 lakhs, plus money from all post-match individual performance awards that I receive from the IPL 2021 towards Mission Oxygen to help fund the requirement of oxygen."
Earlier, on Thursday, Tendulkar also announced his decision to contribute to the cause.
On Friday, the Punjab Kings' West Indian batter Nicholas Pooran also responded to the situation - "it's all so heartbreaking to be so close to such tragedy" - by putting out a message on Twitter saying he would play his part "to bring awareness and financial assistance to this dire situation".
Although many other countries are still being affected by the pandemic, the situation in India right now is particularly severe. I will do my part to bring awareness and financial assistance to this dire situation.#PrayForIndia pic.twitter.com/xAnXrwMVTu— nicholas pooran #29 (@nicholas_47) April 30, 2021
Unadkat, who has been a Royals player since being re-purchased at the 2019 player auction for INR 8.40 crore, said in his tweet that his contribution would be going towards "providing essential medical resources for those in need".
In a video message, Unadkat said, "I know how privileged we are to be in this position to play cricket. I also know how painful a personal loss can be, and how worrying it can be to witness your close friends fighting for their lives. I have been through both. Yet, I am not saying it is right or wrong to play cricket at the moment, but honestly, it is difficult to stay away from family and friends in this situation. All I feel is that this game brings a much-needed distraction in these uncertain times for a lot of people I know, and it brings joy to many as well.
"My heart goes out to those affected in these times. Please stay strong. Let us all come together and fight as a team against this pandemic. Contribute and help each other in whatever way we can. I am contributing my part as well. Please get vaccinated whenever you can. Take care, and stay safe, everyone. We shall overcome this together."
I am contributing 10% of my IPL salary towards providing essential medical resources for those in need. My family will make sure it reaches the right places. Jai Hind! pic.twitter.com/XvAOayUEcd— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) April 30, 2021