COVID-19: Wasim Akram, Darren Gough auction memorabilia to raise funds

They join other well-known sportsmen in raising funds to fight the pandemic; NFL star Rob Gronkowski has raised the maximum amount so far.

Wasim Akram’s signed bat and ball have fetched USD 150.   -  PTI (File)

Cricketers Wasim Akram and Darren Gough have joined other sporting greats in auctioning their items of memorabilia and help raise funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Akram, the former Pakistan fast bowler, and Gough, the former England fast bowler, are among the latest cricketing personalities attempting to combat the challenges posed by the unprecedented global health crisis.

According to athletesrelief.org, Gough and Akram have promised items of memorabilia to be auctioned on behalf of the Centre for Disaster Philanthropy who have set up a COVID-19 Response Fund. Akram, Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker in both Test and ODI cricket, has pledged a signed bat and ball while Gough, England’s second-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket, has pledged a signed ball. While Akram’s bat and and ball have raised USD 150, Gough’s signed ball has attracted USD 50.

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Stars from other sports involved in the fundraising include Jack Nicklaus, Mike Tyson, Nick Faldo, Rory McIlroy, Martina Hingis, Stephen Curry and Michael Phelps, among others. Multiple Olympic gold medallist America swimmer Phelps, whose signed swimsuit has helped raised USD 1,490, said, “In order to give back during this challenging time, I am donating a ‘game worn’ suit cap and goggles to athletesrelief.org.”

At USD 41,350 for his signed football, former American National Football League (NFL) star Rob Gronkowski raised the maximum amount.

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Akram and Gough joined a long list of cricketers who have made efforts to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, including Jos Buttler, who is auctioning the shirt he was wearing when England won the World Cup last year.

England women’s captain Heather Knight signed up as a National Health Service (NHS) volunteer, while Sam Curran launched a fundraising campaign. The pandemic has so far claimed over 60,000 lives while having infected more than 1,100,000 people across the world.

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