England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler says he is “amazed” at the response so far to an auction for his Cricket World Cup final shirt to raise money to fight the coronavirus.
Buttler s shirt, which he wore when completing the last-ball run-out that saw England beat New Zealand at Lord’s last year. Is being sold to raise money for two specialist heart and lung centres.
“There s a day or so left on the auction as well. So hopefully we can raise a bit more,” Buttler said in a conference call on Monday.
“It s a very special shirt but I think it takes on extra meaning with it being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause.”
The 29-year-old said there was a personal link behind his decision to support the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. His wife’s aunt is head of paediatrics at the Royal Brompton in London.
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has brought cricket to a standstill. With the start of the English season delayed until at least May 28.
Lucrative tours to England by the West Indies, Pakistan and Australia are in doubt.
England’s centrally contracted players responded last week to the looming financial crisis facing the game by announcing an “initial donation” of 500,000 pound in support of the England and Wales Cricket Board and good causes.
That is the equivalent to a 20 percent pay cut for three months.
The players decision followed the ECB s announcement of a 61 million pound aid package for the English game and a 25 percent pay for board chief executive Tom Harrison.
“Everybody is very aware of our duty as players to contribute where we can,” said Buttler.
The Lancashire player was asked if the cash should support the Hundred, due to be held for the first time this year. But he said the players wanted their money to go to grassroots cricket.
“I think the Hundred s a big thing that may or may not happen this summer,” he said. “It may get delayed. I know a lot of investment has gone into that.
“But as players we re all very aware of the other effects this is going to have drip-feeding down into the game. Without grassroots cricket we re nothing really.”
He added: “So I know the players are very strong on wanting that money to help that grassroots structure. Pathway because we need to bring people into the game and make sure that is very strong.”