Rajasthan Royals’ pacer Jaydev Unadkat has pledged to donate 10% of his IPL salary towards providing essential medical resources for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. His contribution of INR 30 lacs comes in the wake of several players and cricket franchises stepping up to help those in desperate need.
India is grappling through an unprecedented health crisis, with hospitals and makeshift COVID treatment centres being filled to the brim. Many from the cricketing fraternity have sensed the severity of the situation and extended their support to the noble cause. Pat Cummins and Brett Lee took the initiative, donating 50,000 dollars and a Bitcoin respectively while Sheldon Jackson has chipped in with a humble grant to the Gautam Gambhir Foundation. Unadkat’s franchise, Rajasthan Royals have also generated funds worth 7.5 Cr to shore up India’s fight against COVID.
There has been growing resistance against IPL and how it is being conducted with an absolute lack of empathy for what’s going outside. It’s telling that a bunch of players have pulled out from the tournament and opted to return home. Unadkat addressed the elephant in the room in an interview given to India Today but also maintained that IPL must not be halted as it impacts a lot of people.
"We are in this together in a real sense at this moment. Having said that, I think being here at the moment is very important. There is already a lot of panic in terms of what people are trying to do, what they are trying to protect themselves from.’’ the left-arm pacer said.
"So, for us it is important to spread the right message because cricket is like a religion in our country and people follow cricket and cricketers in a that they look at us to guide, now that social media is a big platform, people look at us to see what we are doing or how we are approaching this pandemic,’’ he added.
"It's very important for us to spread that positive message. Yes, the times are very, very difficult but if we take the right precaution we can certainly come out of this sooner than later. At the moment it's quite important for you, myself, to keep spreading that message. At the same time, I believe that we got to keep this going because IPL is something that impacts a lot of people," Unadkat threw his weight behind an uninterrupted IPL.