The coronavirus pandemic has made the whole world come to a standstill. At present, India is going through a nationwide lockdown till April 14. While cricketers can afford the luxury of staying within the confines of their homes during the lockdown, many daily wage workers are struggling to procure basic necessities for themselves and their families. This is the reason Maharashtra's cricket captain Naushad Shaikh has come forward to lend some help to such workers in the state and groundsmen as well. It is worth noting that Maharashtra is the worst affected state across the country with nearly 900 cases out of the 4,500 positive cases in the country and at the time of writing this report, another 23 people passed away due to the dreaded disease.
As reported by the PTI, Naushad Shaikh and some other Maharashtra cricketers like Nikit Dhumal, Suraj Shinde, Yash Kshirsagar and the Ranji Trophy Team masseur Shubham Chavan have come together to create the 'Gamechangers Relief Fund'. According to Naushad Shaikh, there is no NGO or social worker that is involved in this initiative and it has purely been started by players. Not only Maharashtra players but Ranji Trophy players from other states - Aditya Sarvate (Vidarbha), Prashant Parmeshwaran (Kerala), Manan Vohra (Punjab) have also contributed to the fund. Among other Maharashtra players who have contributed are Ruturaj Gaikwad and Satyajit Bacchav.
Shaikh claimed that the fund started by Maharashtra cricketers had raised an amount of ₹1.50 lakh till now and out of this amount, ₹50,000 have come from indrustialist Punit Balan, who used to be a cricketer too. The cricketers now aim to start distributing essentials like rice, wheat and sugar among families in need. Their initial aim is to reach up to 100 families with this initiative.
The current India lockdown that has been enforced is going to go on till April 14. The government will then announce its plans for the future. India is currently projected to discover its 5000th coronavirus case and the total deaths that have occured due to COVID-19 are 133. In the wake of these events, the BCCI has the IPL postponed to a date beyond April 15. The BCCI has not shared any further updates on the fate of the tournament.