In yet another humanitarian gesture, the Australia men's cricket team have donated their prize money from the recent tour of Sri Lanka to the country's aid, which is dealing with its worst economic crisis. The development was confirmed by Cricket Australia on Twitter. The money donated will be channeled through UNICEF Australia to help the children and families affected due to the crisis.
Cricket Australia in a series of tweets wrote: "Our Aussie men have donated their prize money from the recent tour of Sri Lanka to support children and families impacted by the nation's worst economic crisis in decades.
"The donation will go towards @unicefaustralia's programs to support nutrition, healthcare, safe drinking water, education and mental health services."
As per the board, the team will donate a total of A$45,000 to the organisation's Sri Lanka appeal. The men's team had travelled to Sri Lanka for an all-format tour in June-July this year, and experienced the prevailing situation from close quarters.
In a video shared by cricket.com.au when the team was still in the island nation, Australia Test captain Pat Cummins had given an account of the situation.
"The protest yesterday, you couldn't escape it. We've got a lot of messages from back home saying 'how is it? hope you're okay'. We felt totally fine. You could just hear kind of when it changed from a protest to a party.
"And chatting to a couple of staff around the hotel and a couple of drivers. They're doing it really tough. They're having one day eating, one day off eating and trying to feed their kids. It's really tough," he said.
Sharing his thoughts on his team's gesture to donate the prize money, Cummins, who is the brand ambassador of UNICEF Australia, was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying: "It was very clear to us how much day-to-day life for Sri Lankans is being impacted. When the team saw what was happening it was an easy decision to donate our prize money to UNICEF, who have been in Sri Lanka for more than 50 years supporting the needs of children and families."
This is not the first time Australia have lent monetary support for a cause above the sport. Cummins and Cricket Australia had earlier donated $50,000 for oxygen supplies to India, to help its fight against a raging Covid-19 wave in 2021, which also resulted in the suspension of the Indian Premier League midway.
Australia won the T20Is 2-1 during their tour of Sri Lanka, but the hosts bounced back to win the ODIs 3-2, and the two-match Test series ended in a 1-1 draw.