South Africa’s professional cricket players will donate R300,000 to humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers Foundation to assist with distributing food parcels to needy communities suffering under the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The pandemic is having a devastating impact on communities throughout South Africa. Our 315 members, in recognising this, are committed to doing what they can to alleviate the suffering,” South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) CEO Andrew Breetzke said in a statement.
“A number of players, including Faf du Plessis, Vernon Philander, and Temba Bavuma, have already dedicated their time and resources to alleviate hardship in their regions,” Breetzke said.
“This was an easy decision for the Saca executive committee. As professional cricketers, we enjoy the support of all South Africans, and this is a time when we need to show our support for them,” Saca president Omphile Ramela said.
In showing his support, Faf du Plessis said: “We all need to do what we can to assist our fellow South Africans; this donation will make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable and it will hopefully motivate others to make similar contributions.”
In accepting the donation, Gift of the Givers committed to contributing a further R150,000 to the donation received from the players, thus increasing the support to R450,000. The money would be directed to alleviating poverty among children in communities worst hit by the impact of the pandemic.
“We are honoured to have been chosen to partner Saca in the fight against this global pandemic,” Gift of the Givers director Badr Kazi said in thanking the players.
“It is comforting for many cricket fans to know that their heroes are leading a different type of fight off the pitch – one which encompasses care, compassion, and kindness to their fellow citizens.
“As South Africans, we face stormy and unchartered waters ahead, and our ability to navigate these troubled times means that all tiers of our society need to work together to combat a threat that is bigger than us. Gift of the Givers is extremely grateful to our cricketing citizens for their donation and, with equal measure, their generosity of spirit,” Kazi said.
“The decision by Gift of the Givers to supplement our donation is humbling,” Breetzke said. “As an organisation, they do selfless work throughout South Africa and, on behalf of all cricketers in South Africa, we thank them.”
The professional cricketers had also set aside an initial amount of R300,000 to provide relief for members (past and present) who had been hardest hit by the pandemic.
“In addition to these initiatives, we are working together with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to establish a fund to support individuals in the wider cricket community and will be looking to make a donation to assist in the establishment of that fund.
“We all look forward to the day when we can hear the crack of leather on willow again, but for now, we need to step up and play our part in fighting this pandemic and the devastating impact it is having on many South Africans,” Breetzke said.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo