Cricket Australia on Monday donated $50,000 to UNICEF Australia’s India Covid-19 Crisis Appeal, to help in relief work as the country deals with a record Covid-19 surge. Later in the day, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Australian pacer Pat Cummins said he has allocated $50,000 donation to the initiative.

A week earlier, Cummins had announced a $50,000 donation towards the PM Cares Fund for oxygen supplies to help India in its fight against Covid-19.

Cricket Australia will also raise more funds in partnership with its players’ association and Unicef.

“Australian cricket will throw its support behind India’s Covid-19 Crisis Appeal, with Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers; Association and UNICEF Australia partnering to raise much needed funds,” CA said in a statement.

“Australian cricket has been deeply saddened by the devastation caused by this second coronavirus wave to hit India, a country with which Australians share a strong friendship and connection.

“Cricket Australia will make an initial donation of AUD 50,000 and encourage Australians everywhere to give generously at this crucial time in India’s COVID-19 response,” it added.

The funds raised by CA will be donated to UNICEF Australia, which will be used in various relief initiatives in India.

“UNICEF Australia’s India Covid-19 Crisis Appeal is procuring and installing Oxygen Generation Plants in hospitals to treat seriously ill patients, providing testing equipment in heavily impacted districts and supporting the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine via the COVAX initiative,” the CA added.

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in India with the health-care infrastructure across the country struggling to cope with the case load amid shortage of oxygen supply and essential medicines.

In his statement last week, Cummins had said, “As players, we are privileged to have a platform that allows us to reach millions of people that we can use for good. With that in mind, I have made a contribution to the ‘PM Cares Fund,’ specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals.”

India’s daily cases have been upwards of 3 lakh on most days for the past couple of weeks and the death toll has been rising by over 3,000 everyday, according to official figures.

Three Australian players have exited the Indian Premier League amid the escalating health crisis, while Mumbai Indians batsman Chris Lynn requested Cricket Australia to arrange for a charter flight to take them home after the event is over.

Australia has also suspended all direct passenger flights from India until May 15 due to the “very significant” spike in Covid-19 cases in India with violators facing jail term.