Pat Cummins, who has enjoyed plenty of gripping battles with India on the cricket pitch, has delivered a classy show of unity with the struggling country as it faces one of the toughest fights in the nation’s history.

The Australian fast bowler has pledged a generous $50,000 donation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘PM Cares Fund’ to supply oxygen to hospitals overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a touching message posted on social media, Cummins announced the donation and urged fellow cricketers to donate as well.


“India is a country I’ve come to love dearly over the years and the people here are some of the warmest and kindest I’ve ever met,” said Cummins. “To know so many are suffering so much at this time saddens me greatly.”

Talking about the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), Cummins said: “There has been quite a bit of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while COVID-19 infection rates remain high. I’m advised that the Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country.”

“As players, we are privileged to have a platform that allows us to reach millions of people that we can use for good. With that in mind, I have made a contribution to the ‘PM Cares Fund’, specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals,” said Cummins, encouraging his fellow cricketers to contribute as well.

“I will kick it off with $50,000,” said Cummins. “At times like this, it is easy to feel helpless. I’ve certainly felt that of late. But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people’s lives.

“I know my donation isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but I hope it will make a difference to someone,” he concluded.

Cummins, who was the most-expensive foreign player purchased in the IPL auction, has repaid the faith with some impressive performances for the Knight Riders including striking an unbeaten 66 off 34 balls in a recent match.

Meanwhile, India in the last four days has seen fresh COVID-19 cases numbering over 300,000 per day – the worst numbers of any country since the pandemic began. The nation has tallied nearly 17 million cases in total, and hospitals have been overrun in the latest wave of infections.

While three Australian cricketers – Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, and Andrew Tye – abandoned the league and returned to Australia, Cummins opted to stay there and contribute towards the cause.

IPL will continue its 2021 edition as per schedule, organisers said on Sunday, even as the tournament faced heavy criticism for the plan as India grapples with a massive surge in coronavirus cases.