New Delhi, May 24: The Indian cricket board on Monday said it would donate oxygen concentrators to help fight the raging second wave of Covid-19 -- months after the pandemic crippled the country.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement that it would distribute 10-litre 2000 Oxygen concentrators "with the hope that critical medical aid and care will be provided to the needy patients and this initiative will reduce the havoc unleashed by the pandemic".
"The BCCI acknowledges the stellar role the medical and healthcare community has played and continues to play as we fight this long battle against the virus. They have truly been frontline warriors and have done whatever possible to shield us," said BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly. "The Board has always put health and safety at the top of the chart and remains committed to the cause. The oxygen concentrators will provide immediate relief to those affected and will help in their speedy recovery," he said.
Till recently, the BCCI had been insisting that the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was being played simultaneously along with the rising number of cases across India, was providing a welcome distraction from the pandemic. But when the virus pricked the bio-bubble of four of the eight competing teams -- and some teams refused to play, according to BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla -- the Board was forced to suspend it. According to its latest balance sheet available, for financial year 2018-19, the BCCI, the world's richest cricket body, is worth Rs. 14,489.80 crore.
But it has been slow to react to the raging pandemic in India while the large-hearted Estonian Cricket Association, a nondescript body in Europe with limited resources, last month showed mirror to the BCCI by donating Rs.1 lakh to India to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.