Australian Cricket will be throwing its support behind the India Covid-19 Crisis Appeal, with Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers' Association and UNICEF Australia partnering to raise much-needed funds.
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.
UNICEF Australia's India Covid-19 Crisis Appeal is procuring and installing oxygen generation plants in hospitals to treat seriously ill patients, providing testing equipment in heavily impacted districts, and supporting the acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
Cricket Australia will make an initial donation of $50,000 and encourage Australians everywhere to give generously at this critical time in India's Covid-19 response.
"Australians and Indians share a special bond and, for many, our mutual love of cricket is central to that friendship. It has been distressing and saddening to learn of the suffering of so many of our Indian sisters and brothers during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and our hearts go out to everyone impacted," Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's Interim CEO said in an official statement.
"We were all deeply moved by the sentiments expressed and donations given by Pat Cummins and Brett Lee over the past week. In that same spirit, we are proud to partner with UNICEF Australia to raise funds that will help the people of India by providing the health system with much-needed oxygen, testing equipment and vaccines," he added.
Earlier, Pat Cummins and Brett Lee had also donated their share to help India fight the pandemic.
In welcoming the partnership with Australian Cricket, UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart said he was heartened that a major sport such as cricket, and its players, who have had a long relationship with India, and its people, recognised this urgent need to act now.
"We know that sport has the power to bring people together and there has never been a more important time," Stuart said.
"UNICEF has been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic and as the world's largest children's charity we know the devastating and life-long consequences this emergency will have, in particular, on children and young people," he added.
The Covid-19 pandemic has gripped India and the country has been reporting more than 3,00,000 new cases every day. This is the most number of cases being reported since the pandemic broke out in 2020.