Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar donates five million rupees to fight against coronavirus

Tendulkar remains the world's leading run-scorer in Tests and one-day internationals, with more than 34,000 runs and 100 centuries

West Indies Legends' Brian Lara and India Legends' Sachin Tendulkar walks during a toss ahead of the start of the Road Safety World Series cricket match in Mumbai, India, Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
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Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has joined the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by donating five million rupees (Dh246,000) to his state government of Maharashtra and the Prime Minister's relief fund, according to reports.

Tendulkar, 46, remains the world's leading run-scorer in Tests and one-day internationals, with more than 34,000 runs and 100 centuries. His 24-year career ended in 2013.

India has more than 750 infections, of which 20 people have died. There are now more than 536,000 confirmed cases of the virus around the world and more than 24,000 deaths, the latest numbers compiled by the Johns Hopkins University global dashboard show. More than 122,000 have recovered.

India has announced a lockdown of 21 days until April 14 to fight the virus, which emerged in China late last year and has brought sporting events around the world to a halt.

The fate of the popular Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, which was scheduled to being at the end of the month, remains unclear. It has already been postponed until April 15 at the earliest.

While India's cricket board (BCCI), the richest cricket organisation in the world, has yet to announce any donations to the fight against the outbreak, its state units have come forward to help the national and regional governments.

The Mumbai Cricket Association gave five million rupees, the Saurashtra Cricket Association donated 4.2m while the Cricket Association of Bengal contributed 2.5m.

"Mumbai Cricket Association will support the Govt. of Maharashtra in any way possible in its fight against this pandemic," the association said.

BCCI chief and former captain Sourav Ganguly has promised to provide free rice worth five million rupees to those in need.

A number of Indian cricketers, including national team captain Virat Kohli, have also reached out to their followers on social media, urging them to not leave their homes for three weeks as mandated by the country's government.

Kohli and actress wife Anushka Sharma have a combined 142 million followers on Twitter and Instagram.

"These are testing times and we need to wake up to the seriousness of this situation," Kohli said in a video message. "Please let us all follow what's been told to us and stand united, please. It's a plea to everyone. Stay at home and save your family from coronavirus."

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