Cricket Australia on Monday pledged 50,000 Australian dollars to support India's fight against the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and will also raise more funds in partnership with its players' association and UNICEF.
India's daily cases have been upwards of 3 lakh on most days for the past couple of weeks and have also breached the 4 lakh mark.
The death toll has been rising by over 3,000 every day, according to official figures. "Australian Cricket will throw its support behind India's COVID-19 Crisis Appeal, with Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers' Association, and UNICEF Australia partnering to raise much-needed funds," CA said in a statement.
"Australian Cricket has been deeply saddened by the devastation caused by this second coronavirus wave to hit India, a country with which Australians share a strong friendship and connection. "Cricket Australia will make an initial donation of AUD 50,000 and encourage Australians everywhere to give generously at this crucial time in India's COVID-19 response."
The funds raised by CA will be donated to UNICEF Australia, which will utilise it in various relief initiatives in India.
"UNICEF Australia's India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal is procuring and installing Oxygen Generation Plants in hospitals to treat seriously ill patients, providing testing equipments in heavily impacted districts and supporting the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine via the COVAX initiative," the CA added.
Australian pacer Pat Cummins hailed this decision from Cricket Australia. In a tweet he mentioned that he ended up reallocating his donation to UNICEF Australia's COVID-19 Crisis Appeal which was earlier done to the PM Cares Fund, specifically to purchase oxygen supplies.
The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in India with the healthcare infrastructure across the country struggling to cope with the caseload amid shortage of oxygen supply and essential medicines.
Several Australian cricket stars are currently in India participating in the IPL.
With inputs from PTI