Aussie cricket star Pat Cummins has captured the hearts of a nation after an incredible pledge to help India fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fast bowler - who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League - has revealed that he's donating $50,000 towards medical supplies for India as they try and contain the outbreak of the virus.
India has been gripped by a concerning Covid crisis, with new cases exceeding 300,000 people per day over the last week - the worst figures of any country since the start of the global pandemic.
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Hospitals have been overrun across the country and medical supplies are in demand, with the country registering nearly 17 million Covid cases in total.
Cummins says he's grown to love the country he's currently living in and can't sit idly by while those around him are suffering.
"To know so many are suffering so much at this time saddens me greatly," Australia's Test vice-captain said on social media.
His donation to the PM CARES Fund will go towards much-needed oxygen supplies for coronavirus patients at India's overwhelmed hospitals.
"At times like this it is easy to feel helpless. I've certainly felt that of late," Cummins said.
"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."
Cummins, who is staying put in India for now, called on other IPL players to contribute.
"And anyone else around the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity," the fast bowler said.
His Twitter post has been liked more than 350,000 times, shared over 100,000 times and prompted thousands of replies.
Cummins staying as others leave India
Cummins was purchased by Kolkata for a record $3.1 million in an IPL auction in December 2019.
The IPL is continuing in a COVID-safe bubble and Cummins noted the discussion about whether it was appropriate to continue playing as the crisis deepened.
He said he'd been told the Indian Government believed the IPL provided a few hours of respite for the country at a difficult time.
Meanwhile, fellow Australian players Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson are leaving the IPL as COVID-19 infections surge to unprecedented levels in India.
Tye was flown out of India on Sunday night after requesting a release from the Rajasthan Royals on personal grounds amid growing unease about the path back to Australia.
Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday said leg-spinner Zampa and paceman Richardson had been given permission to return home for personal reasons.
The Australian government, having already reduced passenger numbers from India, is set to discuss a temporary ban on all repatriation flights.
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