Odishatv Bureau

Mumbai/New Delhi: Following PM Modi's appeal to stand united and light up diyas and candles for backing the COVID-19 warriors, several Indian sports icons have come forward and urged the citizens across the country to extend their support for '9 PM 9 Minute'.

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli on Sunday urged the people of the country to stand united and back the health warriors as they fight the coronavirus pandemic from the forefront, by lighting candles, torches or phone flashes at 9 p.m. for 9 mins.

"The power of the stadium is in its fans. The spirit of India is in its people. Tonight 9 pm for 9 min. Let's show the world, we stand as ONE. Let's show our Health Warriors, We stand behind them. Team India - IGNITED," Kohli said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, India's limited overs vice captain Rohit Sharma compared the fight against COVID-19 with a Test match, saying our lives depend on winning this match.

Star India opener Rohit Sharma on Sunday urged the people of the country to not let their guard down in fight against COVID-19 and join the great India team huddle by lighting candles, torches or phone flashes at 9 p.m. for 9 mins.

Also Read: COVID-19 Battle: PM Modi Seeks Support Of India’s Sports Heroes

"Team India, we cant get this prescription wrong. Our life depends on winning this test match. Show your solidarity, join us in "The Great Team India Huddle" today 5th April 9pm for 9min. Light to Fight. Are you with me?" Rohit said in a tweet.

Similarly, India batsman K.L. Rahul extended his support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to Indians to light candles, torches or phone flashes at 9pm for 9 mins on Sunday to show appreciation to those fighting against the coronavirus outbreak that has brought the world to a standstill.

Taking to Twitter, Rahul wrote: "5th April 9pm for 9min..Stand up ! Light up ! Show us your roar, ignite the spirit of a billion hearts and throw this virus off our pitch without a hitch ! The spotlight is on you, together, we can win! @narendramodi @BCCI."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to 49 sports personalities that included the likes of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu and chess legend Viswanathan Anand as he urged them to keep spreading awareness as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has put the whole world on pause and sporting events across the globe have either been cancelled or suspended and even the fate of the 13th edition of the IPL hangs in balance with the BCCI now also open to shifting the tournament to the October-November window if the ICC does plan to postpone the World T20.

Teen shooting star Manu Bhaker on Sunday urged citizens of the country to turn off all lights at home at 9 pm and lights candles, torches or phone flashes for 9 mins in their pledge to defeat coronavirus together.

"Let us all come together in this fight against COVID-19 and the Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji's call, turn off all the lights of your house at 9 o'clock for 9 minutes tonight and light lamps on your roof, balcony or doors and take a pledge to defeat Corona together. Jai Hind," the 18-year old pistol shooter said in a tweet.

Commonwealth and Youth Olympic Games champion Bhaker was among the 49 eminent sports personalities who Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to on Friday regarding spreading awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.Bhaker had on Friday put her weight firmly behind doctors, nurses, police and urged for their safety as they fight the coronavirus risking their lives.

Also Read: COVID-19 Impact: 2020 Tokyo Olympics Postponed, Games To Be Held In 2021

"Please give Assurance of respect Dignity and safety to the Front line workers. Dr. nurses , police and other workers who put their life at risk for our safety," she had said in a tweet.In a video message, PM Modi had asked citizens to stand in their balconies or windows with a candle, diya and or torch for nine minutes to show solidarity with eachother in the battle against COVID-19.

(With IANS inputs)