Batting great Sachin Tendulkar has contributed Rs 50 lakh ($67,000) to India's fight against the coronavirus outbreak, a source close to the former cricketer has confirmed.
Tendulkar, who also took part in Australia's bushfire charity game in February, contributed Rs 25 lakh each to his state government of Maharashtra and the Prime Minister's relief fund, the source told Reuters.
The 46-year-old remains the world's leading run-scorer in tests and one-day internationals, with more than 34,000 runs and 100 centuries. His 24-year career ended in 2013.
India has confirmed 724 infections, of which 17 have died. Globally, over 24,000 have died from the virus, according to a Reuters tally.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
India has announced a lockdown of 21 days until April 14 to fight the virus, which emerged in China late last year and has brought sporting events around the world to a halt.
The fate of the popular Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, which was scheduled to being at the end of the month, remains unclear. It has already been postponed until April 15 at the earliest.
While India's cricket board (BCCI), the richest cricket organisation in the world, has yet to announce any donations to the fight against the outbreak, its state units have come forward to help the national and regional governments.
The Mumbai Cricket Association gave Rs 50 lakh, the Saurashtra Cricket Association donated Rs 42 lakh while the Cricket Association of Bengal contributed Rs 25 lakh.
"Mumbai Cricket Association will support the Govt. of Maharashtra in any way possible in its fight against this pandemic," the association said.
BCCI chief and former captain Sourav Ganguly has promised to provide free rice worth Rs 50 lakh to those in need.
A number of Indian cricketers, including national team captain Virat Kohli, have also reached out to their followers on social media, urging them to not leave their homes for three weeks as mandated by the country's government.
Kohli and actress wife Anushka Sharma have a combined 142 million followers on Twitter and Instagram.
"These are testing times and we need to wake up to the seriousness of this situation," Kohli said in a video message.
"Please let us all follow what's been told to us and stand united, please. It's a plea to everyone. Stay at home and save your family from coronavirus."Athletes from other disciplines have also made financial contributions while some have pledged their salaries to the government to provide relief measures.