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Odishatv Bureau

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to 49 sports personalities including BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu, chess legend Viswanathan Anand and many others as he urged them to keep spreading awareness and extend their support for Coronavirus fight.

Here's what the Indian sports legends did to extend their support at this time of crisis.

Yuvraj Singh

Former India star batsman Yuvraj Singh on Sunday pledged to donate Rs 50 lakh to the PM CARES Fund to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are stronger when we stand united. I will be lighting a candle tonight at 9pm for 9 minutes. Are you with me?" he asked referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to light candles, torches or phone flashes at 9 p.m. for 9 mins.

"On this great day of solidarity, I pledge Rs. 50 Lakhs to the PMCaresFunds. Please do your bit too!," Yuvraj wrote on his Twitter handle.

Harbhajan Singh

Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and wife Geeta Basra on Sunday pledged to distribute ration to 5,000 families.

"Geeta_Basra and I pledge to distribute ration to 5000 families from today May waheguru bless us all," Harbhajan said in a tweet.


Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan had paired up with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives across the world.

Harbhajan had also praised Afridi for the valuable social work he was doing in these trying circumstances.

The pair were criticized for their effort by a section on social media. Harbhajan reacted by uploading a video on his Twitter handle showing Sikhs preparing and distributing food to needy in England. "No religion, no caste, only humanity...that's what it is...stay safe, stay home...spread love not hate or virus...let's pray for every single one...May Waheguru bless us all," he wrote.

Vishwanathan Anand

Former world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand along with six other Indian chess players, will play online chess with fans on April 11 to raise funds to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Anand, who is stranded in Germany due to the global travel restrictions, told Gulf News: "On April 11, Indian chess players will try to do their bit in fund-raising while giving chess fans an opportunity to play and engage with us."

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

Along with Anand, India's men and women champions such Koneru Humpy, P. Harikrishna, B. Adhiban, Vidit Gujrathi and Dronavalli Harika will play against global chess fans and players (at UAE time 5 pm) on Saturday through the portal chess.com and generate money for Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund set up to combat coronavirus pandemic in India.

The registration of $25 will provide a person to play any two of the six top Indian players while in order to play a game against Anand, one would require a minimum donation of $150.

"These are very trying times. Staying positive while staying home is most important. Chess is a game that helps a family bond and is something that can be played both online or on the board," Anand said.

Last week, Anand, along with 48 other sports personalities, had talked to Narendra Modi over video conferencing as the prime minister urged them to keep spreading awareness among people about COVID-19.

Gautam Gambhir

Former India cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir has pledged to donate Rs 50 lakh more to the Delhi Government for procurement of medical equipment and treatment of COVID-19 patients in the national capital.

In a letter, Gambhir said: "It is stated by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia that funds are needed to meet the growing demand for medical equipment in several Delhi Government hospitals."

"In addition to Rs 50 lakh which I pledged two weeks ago, I would further like to pledge Rs 50 lakh from my MP LAD to your kind office with the hope that the said amount would be useful in the procurement of equipment for medical staff and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

"Kindly direct the officers-in-charge to share requirements with my office. During this time of pandemic, the welfare of the citizens of Delhi is of utmost importance," it added.

The East Delhi MP has already pledged to donate his two years' salary towards Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) set up for fight against coronavirus pandemic.

He has already released Rs one crore out of his MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) Fund towards the relief efforts amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Before that, the BJP MP had said that his foundation, Gautam Gambhir Foundation, was distributing food packets to poor people in his constituency in New Delhi. East Delhi has a large number of daily wage labourers and many were not able to make arrangements for their food due to the 21-day lockdown.

Virender Sehwag

Dashing former India opener Virender Sehwag on Monday urged people to follow coronavirus dos and don'ts strictly by sharing a video of a child who is spelling out the directives perfectly.

"This is still the most important thing for all of us. A child is explaining this beautifully. Please do listen to him and follow his advice," Sehwag said in a tweet with a video of the child asking people to watch hands regularly, stay at home, keep sanitisers and wear masks while going to the market.


Over 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported so far in India while more than 100 people have lost their lives.

(With Agency Inputs)

Also Read: 9 PM 9 Minute: Indian Sports Icons Urge To Support PM Modi’s Appeal To Back COVID-19 Warriors

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