Australia men's team donates prize money from Sri Lanka tour to support nation in economic crisis

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Thu, 11/08/2022
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Australia men's team donates prize money from Sri Lanka tour to support nation in economic crisis
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IANS

On Thursday, the Australian men's cricket team announced that they had donated their prize money from the recent all-format tour of Sri Lanka to help families and children affected by the island nation's economic crisis, which is the worst it has experienced in decades. 

Test captain Pat Cummins, a UNICEF Australia ambassador, and white-ball captain Aaron Finch will lead the contribution effort. The team will provide the organisation a total of 45,000 Australian dollars (25,36,294 lakhs in Indian rupees) for its Sri Lanka appeal.

The money given by the Australian men's cricket team will help UNICEF's initiatives to provide 1.7 million disadvantaged Sri Lankan children in need with nutrition, healthcare, safe drinking water, education, and mental health services. 

"We could clearly see how much Sri Lankans' daily lives are being affected. When the team learned what was going on, it was an easy decision to contribute our prize money to UNICEF, which has supported children's and families' needs in Sri Lanka for more than 50 years "According to a statement made by Cummins at cricket.com.au.

Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in June and July 2021 marked the country's return to the island since 2016. Prior to Sri Lanka winning the ODI series 3-2, Australia won the T20I series 2-1. The two-match Test series in Galle finished the tour with a tie. 

Due to frequent power outages, rising gasoline prices, and severe shortages of basic necessities like food and medicine, Sri Lanka has been experiencing a severe economic and social crisis since April of this year. Apart from huge queues of people waiting to fill up their cars with gas, there were calm protests in and around the Galle International Cricket Stadium during Australia's second Test match against Sri Lanka.

In 2021, when the second wave of Covid-19 wreaked havoc in India and the bio-bubbles were breached by the virus, Cummins and Cricket Australia each gave 50,000 Australian dollars (28,18,621 lakhs in INR) for oxygen supplies. As a result, the Indian Premier League (IPL) had to be postponed midway through that season. 

"We applaud the Australian cricketers for once again giving generously to aid Sri Lankans affected by the current catastrophe. Last year, during the height of the COVID-19 Delta wave, they supported India in its hour of need. Australia and Sri Lanka share a close relationship that extends beyond game days, and we appreciate your donation in support of Sri Lankan families' long-term well-being "Tony Stuart, CEO of UNICEF Australia, stated.