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Covid crisis: Amid silence, Shoaib Akhtar reaches out

The former Pakistan pacer appealed to his fans in Pakistan and his country’s govt to come forward and help India in tackling the Covid-19 surge

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 25.04.21, 12:58 AM
Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar File picture

Amid silence from most Indian sportspersons, including its star cricketers, on what is the nation’s gravest health crisis, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has appealed to his fans in Pakistan and his country’s government to come forward and help India in tackling the Covid-19 surge.

“It is impossible for any government to tackle the ongoing crisis. I appeal to my government and fans to help India. India does need a lot of oxygen tanks. I request everyone to donate and raise funds for India and deliver oxygen tanks to them,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.


He also expressed solidarity with Indian citizens and said “we must become each other’s support” in this hour of crisis.

“India is really struggling with Covid-19. Global support needed. Health care system is crashing. It is a Pandemic, we are all in it together. Must become each other’s support,” Akhtar tweeted.

Even as India grapples with the crisis, its sportspersons have largely kept silent, raising questions on whether they are not commenting lest they appear to be critical of the ruling establishment.

Exceptions were Ravichandran Ashwin and Shubman Gill, who sent out a Twitter message on Saturday evening before his team’s game against Rajasthan Royals.

“The situation currently is tough, and I want to thank all our doctors, nurses and the healthcare fraternity working round the clock to save lives. In this moment we need to be responsible.I urge you to follow the government instructions, wear a mask,social distance and stay safe,” Gill tweeted.

A day earlier, Ashwin tweeted on similar lines. “Heart breaking to see what’s happening around my country! I am not in the healthcare fraternity, but my sincere gratitude to each of them. I would also like to make an earnest appeal to every Indian to exercise caution and stay safe.”

“I know there will be people who will retort with a tweet about my position of privilege. I would like to reiterate that this is a virus that spares no one and I am in this fight with all of you. Let me know if I can help and i promise to help anyone that is within my capacity.”

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